We've begun a tradition of a neighborhood party every summer.
Anticipating about 40 people, we cooked for three straight days and
STILL scrambled to complete everything the day of the party.
We held the party on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
First on the list of preparations was the serving pieces for a group
this size. Kimberly and I both dove DEEP into our Bordallo Pinheiro
We used wide mouthed pint canning jars wrapped with ivy printed
ribbons to hold the 'silverware',
actually plastic but it looked real enough.
Our first step was to lay out the menu, then find serving pieces
that would work for the dishes they were intended to hold.
Next, labels identifying the dish so as to alert anyone
with a food allergy that they should avoid this particular item.
A vintage theme was in the back of my mind, so these
paper plates and napkins jumped in my cart at the Dollar Tree.
What I didn't grow in my garden, I bought from friends at the Ely Farmers' Market.
Fresh and seasonal was the mandate for the menu.
Beautiful gladiolus from Kunnari's farm stand as the centerpiece,
purple candles with butterfly adornments and my
ubiquitous floral garland from sister in law, Glenna.
Walleye filets, caught by my husband, Todd, from Snowbank Lake
were used to make
Walleye cakes with wild rice, blue cheese, and panko.
Served with a Greek yogurt based dill and shallot dipping sauce.
Chard from my garden was blanched
then stuffed with caramelized leeks, thinly sliced beef, and
marinated buffalo mozzarella balls
wrapped into little packages and
and lightly grilled until the cheese melted.
Bacon wrapped asparagus spears
being seasoned, and then
charred on the Weber grill
Sprinkled with Parmesan
and piled on an asparagus-themed platter.
Chicken satays, marinated in a teriyaki sauce, then grilled.
The same chicken, without the wooden skewers,
was placed in butter lettuce leaves.
The deviled eggs.
Pumpernickel squares with dill/shallot butter, topped with a
Summerdance English Cucumber and shrimp.
Insalata Caprese with my garden-grown heirloom tomatoes
and purple opal basil.
Thai salad with soba noodles.
We had to call in the cavalry for help! Debbie from down the road
(and great pal) was happy to come over and assemble the
massive cheese and cracker tray.
Garnished with organic purple violas from my garden.
The crudite platter
with a garlic dill dipping sauce, served in a radish bowl and
drizzled with garlic-infused olive oil.
Lake Superior salmon, caught by hubby dearest. Smoked
and laid on a bed of carrot greens, covered with sprouts
and a dill caper sauce.
Kimberly making the desserts ... brownie bites covered with
chocolate ganache, then caramel sauce, topped with crushed
oreos and then a sprig of organic mint.
Designed to look like a small potted plant :-)
Setting up the outside bar