MY HUSBAND’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Over the weekend I decided to host my husband’s birthday party at our new/old log cabin so that our friends could see the newly renovated cabin for the first time. But, one of the final projects still remaining on the renovation list was to chalk-paint the newly constructed dining table.
So, because it was still unfinished, I decided to sew a tablecloth to cover it along with matching napkins. I purchased this vegetable print fabric at IKEA for $4.99 a yard which was perfect for my black and white color scheme. It is surprising how quick, easy and inexpensive it is to sew your own table linens. For about $25.00 in materials and 2 hours of my time, I ended up with a beautiful new set of linens.
To add a festive flair to the table I ripped strips of fabric, tied them to some cotton twine and hung the matching bunting above the dining table.
For a simple flower arrangement, I added bunches of baby’s breath to enamel tubs that matched my enamelware plates from West Elm.
I decided to start the party with appetizers and champagne on the back porch. But we had encountered a problem with blinding sunlight out there, just at the times when we used the porch the most. In the morning when we wanted to enjoy our coffee the sun would be rising on the east side of the porch, which is the side where we placed the obligatory rocking chairs.
And in the evening, just when we wanted to enjoy a cocktail on the opposite side of the porch where there is a built-in bench and table (left behind by the previous owners and will soon be replaced with a rectangular shaped table), the blinding sun would be setting. Plus, there was an issue with privacy, as the neighbor’s porch is quite near. Since I had already sewn a cushion for the bench using a painter’s drop cloth, I decided to sew outdoor curtains for the porch, also using durable and inexpensive canvas drop cloths.
And here is the result.
The curtains blocked the blinding sun, provided privacy, and at the same time gave the porch a really cosy atmosphere. My next sewing project will be to sew some throw pillows for that bench.
I used galvanized pipe as curtain rods, also inexpensive, and they will stand up to the elements as well.
Our party appetizers consisted of a Beet and Feta Cheese Dip with crackers and crudites. Stay tuned and I’ll publish the recipe soon. I also served a Wasabi Horseradish Cheese from Trader Joe’s that was really delicious. My serving tray was fashioned from a piece of butcher block leftover from the kitchen remodel. I simply added a couple of Engraved Chevalier Handles from Anthropology ($2.95 each) and voila, I had a serving tray.
For the first course, I served an arugula salad topped with cannellini beans in a kale pesto sauce.
We grilled salmon steaks that I had seasoned with a special salmon spice mixture, extra virgin olive oil, lemon slices and fresh thyme. To lock in the flavors and moisture, I wrapped the salmon in aluminum foil, which also served to keep the fish from sticking to the grill.
To accompany the salmon, I prepared Italian farro with grilled corn and pistachio nuts. I served it with roasted heirloom carrots that I drizzled with a Vadouvan yogurt sauce.
My husband prefers pie over cake, so I decided to take advantage of the season and prepare a fresh strawberry slab pie for dessert.
Our dog Charlie liked it as well.
Warm out of the oven with a dollop of Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream on top, Brad was in heaven. In my next blog post I will share this delicious recipe with you.
After everyone devoured their fresh strawberry slab pie, it was time to open presents.
Brad loved all the very thoughtful gifts he received, which included baseball tickets and Tommy Bahama and Brooks Brothers shirts. But the one present I will get to enjoy too was from our friend Brenda, who painted Brad a small portrait of our son, Austin. It is an amazing likeness of Austin when he was about 6 years old. This is a gift that will be enjoyed for a lifetime.
So there you have it: MY HUSBAND’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
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