Summer, eat out of doors.

In my cookbook, I talk about an amazing party my parents threw every July 4th. It was the “best ever” every year. We celebrated exactly on the day, and it was a consistently well orchestrated potluck for over one hundred and fifty guests. I reminisce about that party every summer and when the opportunity arises to share a meal outside, I am all over it.

In this beautiful al fresco wedding, the bride, also a gardener, used handmade seed packets as escort cards. Cute! And outdoorsy! This event was held exclusively outside until it was time for dancing.

Just last week,  we made an amazing plant based celebration for Muir Ranch.  About one hundred and forty guests enjoyed a six course meal in the farm field behind Muir High School in Pasadena.

 It was a glorious event.

Kids were running around, food was shared, elixir was mixed and everyone had a personal best night of the summer.  There was a delightful musician, Eric Kufs, and it all came together  to make a magical experience. Right here in our city, outside.

The menu was prepared with  offerings from the ranch.  I was thrilled to feature several recipes from “Who Wants Seconds?” including my recipe for ratatouille which is truly a best ever, and  my Classic Catalan Gazpacho, also ridiculously delicious. They loved them both! My crazy great zucchini butter featured years ago on food 52 was a huge rave, and my friend Davey made a delicious whole wheat batard.      F A N T A S T I C.

Want more recipes??  Try these beauties all from the “Who Wants Seconds?” – (plus another 70 or so from the book which are time-bank tested and super easy) Like these corn fritters! 

We ended with some peach crunch (also in the book!!) with peaches from Top Notch Farm.  It was the kind of party that had little bits of perfect in every moment, in so many ways.  Mostly though, I think being outside was the best part, enlivening our spirits with an unseasonal cool breeze and feeling the earth give way with every step.

Good times were had by all and everyone ate well!  That is a spectacular night in my world!

Read the reviews on Amazon. Buy the book on Indie bound.


Best Friends, Birthdays and Bashes

There’s a triad in my life that is positively delightful. My gals Gwen and Jen. We bonded years ago during a raucaus stint on a contentious Board at a school that will remain unmentioned back in the nineties. We’re an odd lot, them 5 footers, me 6 foot. Them brunettes, me the only “natural” blonde. We’re celebrating a 50th this week in a dreamy summer home  in Martha’s Vineyard. We take the red eye.  That’s Gwen, she’s a little blurry. (We have cocktails before we get on the plane.)

After the  redeye from L.A. to Boston, we hop on  a little tiny Cape Air plane. Sometimes there are pirates on the plane.
pirate plane
It was my first time ever with pink wings.

pink airplane
We take a nap on arrival, and settle into island life mighty quick.  A little lunch in Menemsha,

And a visit to Ice House Pond  put us in the island way.

Today we have a perfect beach day planned, a little shopping (cause we love to shop) and tomorrow, the big 50th bash, a clam back in Aquinnah.
Life is better than good.