In the past two months we’ve survived an eighth grade graduation, a high school graduation, and a master’s degree graduation. I didn’t plan a prolonged absence from the blog but all that studying, stressing, prepping, playing, traveling, and celebrating took a lot of time and energy. At least during those busy days we’ve been composting and spring gardening right along. Planning meals and gardens, eating together at the end of the day – these were necessary ways to connect and nourish mind and body at the end of every long day.
Instead of playing catch up I’ll share the buckets and bag from our great graduation celebration. My husband was kind enough to compost (in my house it’s a noun AND a verb) in the early morning rain before guests arrived.
Can you believe I did not take a single photo of this party? It might have something to do with a hundred people convening in my house early on a Sunday afternoon but it remains in my memory as one of the most enjoyable, celebratory, crowded, RAINY parties we have ever thrown. Nearly everyone came to share in the fun and, yes, we had a LOT of fun! Of all the many, many parties they attended, my boys said theirs was the best, so I accept the compliment and I’ll share the brunch menu with you. It was filled with some of my high school grad’s favorite foods.
It all started at the front door with drinks in the dining room …
- Cucumber Water
- Sweet Tea
- Sweet Lemonade
- Iced Vanilla Latte
- Bloody Mary’s
Now that you have a drink in your hand, follow me to the kitchen where you’ll find silver chafing dishes, trays and crystal bowls filled with:
- The most amazing shrimp & grits (truly, I could eat a bowl right now)
- Brown sugar bacon
- Butter-fried chicken tenders to top fresh waffles (more in a minute)
- Mini quiches filled with raw milk cheddar & shallots
- Lots of fresh melon, pineapple and berries
- Tortellini skewers with cherry tomatoes, sugars snap peas in a dill-mustard vinaigrette
Since it was just after twelve on a Sunday morning, we set up the kitchen island as a make-your-own waffle bar with four irons, bowls of batter and lots of mix-ins and toppings. I’m sorry but you might have to wait in line …
- Mix-Ins: pecans, chocolate chips, grated sharp cheddar, blueberries
- Toppings: whipped butter, whipped cream, real maple syrup, berries, bananas and that tasty fried chicken for my son’s favorite Chicken & Waffles
And what’s a party without dessert? I could serve a twelve course dessert-only meal, but I showed restraint and kept it to three choices:
- A giant graduation “cake” composed of ten dozen (yes, one hundred twenty) Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts stacked high. The grads, especially my son, are HUGE KK fans.
- With a nod to school colors, mini green velvet cupcakes with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting topped with mini fondant “parchment” diplomas and gold “cords”.
- Espresso parsnip cookie thins filled sandwich style with dark chocolate ganache.
Are you stuffed? We were. There was virtually nothing left to snack on at the end of the day (except cocktails, so we enjoyed them … and that’s an entirely different story) When we woke up the next morning, we realized this punch bowl was left out all night and fit only for compost… Clearly cantaloupe is the least favored fruit.
Next up: spring garden shots! And back to the DAILY bucket! Cheers!