Garden Party

Entertaining, How-To, In Season, Summer
on June 18, 2012
Garden with Japanese Lanterns
Julia Moss

June is the month of brides — and brides to be. To celebrate the upcoming marriage of Maggie Moss (our goddaughter) and Mason Ford, husband Bim Glasgow and I hosted a back-yard barbecue on June 2, along with friends Wade and Debbie Martin from Seattle and Art and Linda Rebrovick and Lee Greathouse from Nashville.

Our menu was inspired by Maggie and Mason’s recent home in Texas: barbecue and corn light bread from our favorite local barbecue restaurant (Whitt’s).  As sides we served Roasted Veggie Orzo and Thai-Style Cabbage-Peanut Salad, two of my favorite go-to recipes from Relish. The day before, I decided to add Quick Pickled Veggies to the line-up. A great recipe by Relish Cooking Show Chef Brian Morris, it was a terrific addition to the rich, smoky barbecue, and leftovers were yummy for a full week. (I particularly love these veggies with a side of hummus.) We also served Mississippi Caviar and chips and wonderful Manchego Cheese and Smoked Ham Pinwheels for nibbling before the meal. For dessert, I made Fudge Cake and Lemon Bars the day ahead.

Japanese lanterns collected over the years by my parents-in-law were strung through the trees. Along with the full moon that night, they provided a warm glow for the after-dinner conversation around the tables and hula-hooping under the pine tree.

Flowers for the tables came from Wade’s mother’s garden—bright Shasta daisies, gorgeous yellow dahlias, wispy pink guara, and more, filled in with spiky, fragrant lavender and big blue, pink and white hydrangea blooms from my own garden. And the weather really gave us a break—it was cool enough to don sweaters and shawls as the evening wore on.

Though we ran out of beer around 10:00, a quick run to the supermarket solved that problem, and most of the guests stuck around until well past midnight to wish Maggie and Mason all the best wishes in the world.

—Candace Floyd, Relish Managing Editor

Photos by Julia Moss.