Sorry it’s been quiet around here: It’s busy times in Kate-land. This weekend I went home to Oregon for my 10-year high school reunion (!!) and to throw a wedding shower for my oldest friend, Kathrin. My mom was incredibly generous about hosting at their house and preparing all the food, and she spent a lot of time scrubbing everything up all around the house and yard so that everything was perfect.
I wanted to use bright colors because when I think of Kathrin I think of reds and oranges. A couple months ago I went to Paper Source and found cute invitations with big abstract flowers on them, and then got wrapping paper with the same flowers, along with envelopes and flat cards and labels in the various colors from the paper. I used the wrapping paper to make a belly band holding the flat cards (which I printed as recipe cards) over the invitation text, and then held it together with the labels (I stamped them with a potato stamp, since I didn’t have a “K” stamp!):
Last week I went back to the store to get more of the paper so I could decorate with it for the shower. I also made a holder for the recipe cards, which all the ladies brought back with favorite summer recipes on them.
I lucked out when I went running errands on Friday to get ready for the shower. I didn’t think I’d find tulips this late in the year, but Trader Joe’s had them, in the perfect colors. We rented 48″ square tables and put them in the dining room, filling out my mom’s antique chairs with four rental ones. We rented the tablecloths and napkins, and I used the paper to make a table runner.
The dining table went in back of the sofa for the food, and the smaller table we usually keep there was moved to the side for drinks:
By the way, let’s take a closer look at those radishes (with butter and salt), because they are so lovely:
For drinks we had prosecco and Pimm’s Cups, which I love. I forgot to take a picture of the drink all made, but here are the pretty, pretty garnishes (strawberries are not 100% traditional but I wanted some color):
I made a whole pitcher of Pimm’s Cups (1 1/3 cups Pimm’s to 2 2/3 lemonade made enough for 12 people once the club soda and ice got involved), but the recipe scales up or down easily:
1 part Pimm’s No. 1
3 parts lemonade
Shake well and pour into a collins glass full of ice, filling about 2/3 of the way, maybe a little more
Top with club soda
Garnish with mint and cucumber (and lemon, orange or strawberry if you want)
Pimm’s is gin-based (which…I love gin, so that makes me happy) but honestly it doesn’t taste very ginny, and it’s worth a try even if you’re more of a vodka drinker. The drink is very mild on the alcohol front, and extremely refreshing for summer. Obviously I had to leave the bottle of Pimm’s in Oregon, so now I need to track down my own for Porch-top sipping.
Anyway, on to the food! My mom made grilled chicken (marinated in garlic and olive oil, with a bit of lemon at the end), asparagus with preserved lemon and a fantastic couscous from the Bouchon cookbook. I will try making that myself one of these days and will include the recipe then! It had more preserved lemon and mint in it and was amazing. Also a big salad. All the vegetables (and the strawberries) came from the farmer’s market that morning, and the mint was from a friend’s back yard–spring comes earlier in Oregon, even in a rainy, cool year like this one.
Lunch was perfect–light and summery. Everyone seemed to have a lovely time! And we finished with a goblet of strawberries, butter cookies and chocolate-covered pretzels while Kathrin opened presents.
Oh, and more Prosecco. Lots of Prosecco.