When I was twenty-one I threw my first party. And yes, it was much different then. That party involved a bucket of beer, some chips in a bag and a few face plants directly on my mother’s front lawn. It wasn’t classy, in fact it was anything but, it was gross, and awesome, all at the same time. Although, it has been seven years since my 21st birthday, the party bug has always survived in me. In fact its grown. Only, over the years, it has evolved into a more adult, mature party approach. Now, instead of bags of chips everywhere, it’s signature cocktails and hearty meals. I have always loved the idea of bringing all my favorite people into a space and feeding them wonderful little bites as well as sharing delightful beverages. Every conversation gets better with food and drink. People relax, they open up a little, things become more organic. It’s truly a beautiful thing to be a part of. And something about watching all these favorite people of mine, dressed up, with a drink in their hand, smiling, just brightens up my life.
Summer, of course, is the biggest party season and yes, it is when my husband and I throw our annual Harvest Party. Something that has grown massively over the last three years. We always say that it is going to scale down and yet, it never does. This year I omitted family from the equation because otherwise, the guest list would have been like sixty people and mentally, I’m not prepared to host that kind of party. Yet. And, as much as I love my husband’s family and my family, the younger folks are the ones that seem to enjoy it more and live the closest. I hate having to ask people to drive two hours just to come and eat my food. The guest list has been reduced to about thirty-five and I’m sure a few will be added along the way, it’s the way it always seems to go. I meet someone at the supermarket, I say, hey come to my party.
Last year I did a large-scale sit down meal and it was remarkable. The long table with the white linen and the little tea roses was divine. But it did make it difficult to interact with all my guests. I was down at the end with a few folks, unable to even see the other end of the table. From where I was sitting, they all looked miniature. So, I decided to throw that idea away and do just a few scattered tables close together with small bites that will add up to full bellies. Bites that people can walk around with and mingle without being tied down to one particular spot. For cocktails we are going to make use of my illustrious herb garden and infuse some liquor. We are looking to really make our cocktails original and yummy. Right now we are thinking: basil strawberry, rosemary mint and perhaps something with lavender which is always wonderful on the palette. The food theme is BBQ with summertime favorites elevated to a new level. Lots of fresh flavors, bold cuts of meat, veggies to cool the tongue. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Honestly, since I have decided to step away from my baking business, my mind has been free to roam into cooking again as a hobby. Which I think, makes everything taste much better. That passion, rather than loathing, is the best ingredient one can ask for. I’m really enjoying baking for people just because once again as well as conjuring up these ideas to have people over. Belgium dinner parties, Backyard burgers with friends, Housemade marshmallows. So many great things. It’s amazing what occurs when your thoughts aren’t constantly in motion about business. It’s a nice break for summer. And, as some of my friends are looking to break into the baking business, I feel as though I can lend myself as a resource without sounding too bitter. 🙂 Right now, even with some of the stresses that life has recently handed to me, life is good. The warm weather is here, grapevines and garden are looking fantastic and soon, the drinks and food will be flowing.
Cheerio to you all, this season should be a great one.
Summer events I am looking forward to:
Belgium Beer Dinner w/Friends-June 22nd
Fit at 5K in Portland-June 30th
Tuscan Wine Dinner w/ Local Moms-June 30th
Emma’s Birthday Tea Party-July 28th
Harvest Party-August 18th
Need ideas or help with a menu for a party, send me a message, always willing to lend a hand.