Blooming-hills

Over a week has passed since our 2nd Annual Road Party and while the bubbly and food have all but disappeared, the memories and flowers linger still. 

This year we opted for a brunch event where we served our newly famous Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream and fruit along with home made biscotti and thirst quenching Mimosas.

 

Our very own chef: Irwin   

We decided to utilize the porch and front lawn, which are both shady and cool during the early part of the afternoon and had an immeasurable amount of help from our neighbor Jeanne, who co-hosted the gathering as well as our good friends Marty and Robyn, who came for the weekend.                                              

 

 Jeanne, our neighbor and resident bartender

Our neighbors brought an array of epicurean edibles including scrumptious spinach and mushroom strata, spinach and feta individual spanakopita, a homemade peach cobbler, herb biscuits, parmesan rolls, a fresh blueberry pie from the local blueberry festival and bottles and bottles of Prosecco.

                                 

Lots and lots of Prosecco

 

Unlike an evening event, which allows for more time to capture the set-up pictorially, a brunch with a warm main course does not permit such a luxury, so we hope you will use your imagination.

What I was able to capture were the simple,colorful floral arrangements Irwin made from an assortment of flowers Jeanne ordered from a local farm.  The total cost for the flowers was a mere thirty dollars and we are still enjoying the blooms more than a week later.  Irwin employed an assortment of vintage pieces including a silver plated pitcher, a pewter pitcher, assorted glass vases and our personal favorite, a ceramic swan that Irwin purchased in Virginia last year.

                                                   

  

a pewter pitcher filled with farm favorites

 

 

A silver plate pitcher filled with a breathtaking assortment

 

the same pitcher over a week later 

 

a simple table set with a petite bouquet

 

the petite bouquet the following week

 

 

a beautiful swan

 

beautiful still

 Needless to say, a good time was had by all.                                                                 
 

                                      enjoying the afternoon

        

In our last post we suggested using found objects to hold candles for a little Midsummer Lights Dream. Found objects can also make interesting containers for flower arrangements, making every day a special occasion.  And this time of year the burgeoning plethora of wildflowers are wonderful additions to seasonal blooms.                                                                                                                          

  

Wildflowers, including Goldenrod

So, this weekend, purchase or pick some of this season’s best and fill your favorite containers.  Whether you are enjoying your time indoors or out,   surround yourself with the sweet bouquet of flowers and enjoy your very own Blooming-hills.

 

 

 

 

 


This past Saturday night we hosted our first “Road Party” in the country and it was  spectacular!  It was attended by nine families including ours and was so successful, we have decided to make it an annual event.            

Our House

 

Unlike suburban neighborhoods with streetlights and sidewalks, our road in the country is light-less and dirt. While our home is situated close to the road, most of the other homes that dot our road are nestled in the mountainside at the end of dirt driveways, many of which are a half mile long or more. 

Our Road 

 

That being the case, it should come as no surprise that after ten summers in the country, we knew little, if anything about our neighbors.  But all that changed last summer, when we met our new neighbor Jeanne and her dog Zippy.

Zippy and Charlie became fast friends and Charlie (as well as Irwin & myself) eagerly anticipated Zippy & Jeanne’s impromptu visits before or after their afternoon walk.  Jeanne, living here full time for half the year had managed to meet more local people in her first month here, than we had met in the ten years previous and it was through her that we finally met some of our neighbors last Labor Day.

Zippy & Charlie: Best Buddies

 

This year Jeanne had a brilliant idea.  She suggested we collaborate and host a “Road Party” to get to know more of our “hidden” neighbors. Because there is nothing we enjoy more than hosting a party, we immediately offered our home for the event.  Jeanne dropped mailers in every mailbox and under every front door she could find on our half of the road (the road is over three miles long) asking people to RSVP and bring an appetizer, side or dessert.  We had no idea who or what to expect and the result was more wonderful than we could have ever anticipated.

Our neighbors regardless of whether they were able to attend or not, called and emailed telling us how much they loved the idea of a road party. Despite never having any discussion about specifically what anyone was bringing, the collaboration was astounding and the resulting menu blended together seamlessly and needless to say, the buffet was plentiful.

In keeping with our slow home philosophy, we re-purposed cloth napkins and dishes that we had originally purchased and/or made for our children's B’nai-Mitzvah years ago and made a tablecloth from an upholstery fabric remnant.  Using our own silverware, the only disposable items used at the gathering were about thirty plastic cups, which were recyclable.

Tableware set up: Nothing Disposable Here

 

Irwin took two colors of napkins from the assortment and in lieu of napkin rings, he used a roll of twine we had and rolled and tied each napkin with a simple twine bow; an easy and inexpensive touch that made tremendous visual impact.

Re-purposed napkins tied with everyday twine

 

Irwin then strategically placed cut flowers from our garden in vintage silver plated champagne glasses as well as a collection of vintage vases we have accumulated over the years.  He supplemented our garden’s bounty with flowers Jeanne had purchased at a local farm to complete the arrangements.

Vintage silver plated champagne glass with farm flowers

 

More home grown flowers

 

Farm Flowers in our vintage vase

 

More local flowers in a vintage silver plated bowl

 

 

And...More local & farm flowers

 

our miniature roses

 

And the food, have I mentioned the food? Well, all of the food we prepared as well as the food that our guests brought was made with locally grown or purchased ingredients and was amazingly fresh and tasty.

Irwin's Fresh Mozzarella, tomato & basil salad-locally grown with toasted ciabatta bread & hummus

 

 

a new twist: hummus served in margarita glasses

 

 

Can't you just smell the fresh basil?

 

 

Jeanne's home made roasted chicken salad

 

My home made pasta w/arugula pesto sun dried tomatoes goat cheese and local grilled corn

 

Our neighbor Gloria's garden salad made form vegetables she grew in her garden (sorry for the leftovers photo)

 

Drinks including water, Iced tea and my special vodka cocktail

 

Jeanne's home made peach & plum pie made with locally grown fruit

 

 

my home made cupcakes

 

 

 Charlie: Ready for guests

 

 

 

Although I stopped taking pictures when the guests arrived, I must list the delicious additions they contributed to the event:

  • A home made Ceasar salad
  • A home made Goat Cheese & Pesto Torta
  • A home made grilled summer squash salad ( squash grown in neighbor's garden)
  • Home made crab filled finger sandwiches
  • A fruit salad that included sever types of locally grown plums as well as peaches
  • An assortment of local artisanal cheeses
  • A rustic peach pie made by a local farm as well as a mixed berry pie from our local Biodynamic farm

But more than the wonderful food, the time spent getting to know our neighbors was priceless.  We met new neighbors to the road as well as long standing residents; weekenders like ourselves as well as full-timers. We shared a meal as well as our love for this special place on our planet and as the evening came to a close and we cleaned up, we all agreed to do this again next year.

 

Glasses that we frosted for oldest son's bar mitzvah in 2001 now staples in the country

 

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