Sunday, July 5, 2015

Another 4th of July - it's a wrap

Well, the 4th wasn't really a wrap. It was more like hamburgers and hot dogs. For 20 people - family.
I spent pretty much this last week either at the grocery store or in the kitchen. One good thing about the 6" of June and 1" of July rain is I didn't need to spend time in the garden watering my annuals. They did just fine.
So, singlehandedly working on this family gathering (in all fairness, Mr. P. went to the store with me, and he did grill the dogs and burgers), it's all about planning. I make my lists, and get to work.

I had to rearrange the sunroom and adjacent breakfast table to accommodate 20 seats, pulling extras chairs from the basement stash. This is not an entire view below, but you get the idea. I keep the snack trays at bay, if needed, but a lot of people just eat with their plates on their laps. Rain was in the forecast, so setting up outside was checked off the list. Thank goodness.
Then, I organize the buffet to make sure I have room for all the dishes and utensils, which have to be gathered from various storage cabinets.
It's hard to remember to take photos of everything when you're down to the wire and all the company is present, but I managed to do it this time. Besides the main course in the leading photo, I also had some additional appetizers at the breakfast table.
Of course, there were desserts.
Just in time for the 4th, my front hibiscus plantings opened their first blooms (the hibiscus group in the back landscape were blooming nearly two weeks ago). Soon, these plants will be blooming throughout.
I love these plate-size Lord Baltimore variety, even though they're a lot of trouble staking.
We have a local realtor who places the flags you saw in the photo above (in front of my gate) on every single property in our neighborhood for the 4th (stealthily, in the night, sometime on the 2nd this year). I keep collecting them, and re-use them, either at home or for display at the antique mall.
That, my friends, was how I spent my independence day - tied to the home and garden. And it was all my choice - because I live in the home of the free. God Bless America.

Update 7/6/15: for a link to a few of the side dishes I used for this gathering, a couple with surprising short-cuts, you can read this previous post:  5-Star Collected Recipes for a Crowd - Or Not!

As always, thanks for your visit.
Rita C. at Panoply

Sharing with any given number of these fine hosts: