Menu for a Wreath-Making Party

Much like when we had a shoe cutting party for the Sole Hope organization, a craft party requires a lot of work space.

In addition to the dining table I’ll set up our card tables.

I’ll have to set up enough tables for ten wreath projects to be worked all at the same time.

The island looks better covered with food.

As in the past I’ll set up a tasty buffet on the kitchen island, not a meal just a little something to take the edge off while we’re working.

A creamy bowl of corn chowder


We should be able to create this menu the morning of the get-together.

What are you cooking this season?


Cutting Some Greens

I am having a get-together of ten families to make Advent wreaths.

Metal wreath frame.

I purchased wreath frames with candle holders incorporated.

The wreath traditionally has 3 purple candles and a pink one. A white candle can be added to the center for lighting on Christmas.

I also bought a dozen packs of 4 candles especially packaged for Advent.

We have some massive spruce trees both at home and at work.

My plan is to hunt for evergreen boughs and limbs from the yard.

I filled my car with greens like arborvitae.

I don’t want to actually cut them yet for the party scheduled in early December.

Magnolia leaves are a different shape and finish evergreen branch.

Since Sug and I are going to make prototypes on Thanksgiving weekend I carefully clipped a few limbs from overgrown trees at work: spruce, boxwood, arborvitae, and magnolia.

A door spray from another Christmas season.

Anything left over will go into sprays and vases for outdoor display.

What’s growing in your yard?

Let’s Plant the Fall Color

I bought some ochre mums a few weeks ago to brighten up the porch.

These flowers from 2014 are forever gone.
These flowers from 2014 are forever gone.

I did the same thing last year with every intention of planting them once they started to fade.

The purple asters and golden mums can be planted in the yard and should come back year after year.
The purple asters and golden mums from last year should have been planted in the yard.

That didn’t happen but this year I’ve asked Charlie to plant 5 mums in a clump at the right side of the potager.

Hoping Charlie will plant five tawny mums in a clump so they’ll return next year.

Charlie doesn’t think much of plants that can’t be eaten but a little persuasion encouraged him to transplant these fall-blooming plants.

I’d like mums in this area near the potager.

Can’t wait to see what we get next year.

What perennials come back for you every year?

Post Party Report

We had seven for game night which is a perfect number to play, eat, get to know people. We played “Boxers and Briefs” as an ice breaker then moved on to “MadGab” which had us fall-down laughing.

Raw vegetables and hummus — the platter was picked clean by the end of the evening.

Earlier in the day Sug and I with some help from Charlie (who mostly sampled food) prepared a really easy menu.

Autumn leaves and white roses.

I took a tour through the yard to get some foliage to jazz up white roses I bought at Trader Joe’s earlier n the week.  I think they’re 20 roses for $9.99.

Just leaves in a Asian vase adorn the mantel.

The most colorful and well-preserved leaves remaining were Japanese red maples in tones of orange and maroon.

One of the first tasks is getting the table ready with a festive table cloth, flowers, and space for dishes.

Having a party or get-together is not difficult.  However, especially at this time of year, people are busy and pre-scheduled so I often have to ask way more people than I’d actually like to host to make a party. We asked 15 people to get the four that were free to participate.  Some were invited at the last minute and turned out to be the life of the party. Party guests are really the key to a successful party.

Food for game night was carefully selected not to be messy so the game could continue.

Party on!!!

Are you a party goer or giver?

Slight Change in the Menu

Subtitle:  Before Eating Turkey Gets Old

I planned a menu for tonight’s upcoming game night which featured chicken salad sliders.

I receive a frozen turkey every year just before Thanksgiving.

Two days ago, however, I received my free frozen turkey from work.

A turkey dinner

I asked Charlie if he had his heart set on a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving (just 5 days away).

Maryland Crab Cake

He said, “Not necessarily.”  After all, last night we went to our first turkey dinner of the holiday week.  And, if there’s no turkey on Thanksgiving, I’m willing to settle for crab cakes or steamed shrimp.

I put the turkey in a low roasting plan on a rack.

This morning I put the mostly frozen turkey into the oven to roast at 350 degrees on the “convection bake” setting.  This is the first time I’ve tried this setting for turkey.

When cooking a frozen turkey don’t forget to remove the giblet packet.

I wrangled the giblet bag from the bird’s cavity with a pair of tongs after about an hour of cooking.

The turkey was returned to the oven. Before pronouncing it “done” I checked in multiple spots with a quick-read thermometer making sure all areas had a minimum temperature of 165 degrees.

Today Sug and I are preparing the entire menu for tonight’s party which now will include homemade cranberry sauce.

This is a fairly innocent game that gets people talking and reveals some unexpected information.

Hope we’re not too exhausted to play games tonight.

Games of luck or games of skill?

What’s Happening?

Last night when I returned home from class, our dead end street was blocked by about 5 pieces of very large heavy machinery.

A hydrant at the end of the street broke on Thursday evening.

A water main had broken. They moved some of the trucks to let us get down the street to the house but shut off the water to make the repair.

Our trees are red (dogwood), yellow (tulip poplar), and orange (sugar maple).

The Cottage is beautifully arrayed in fall colors in mid-November.  The trees have lost about half their leaves.

Roses are always welcome.

We always have fresh flowers at work  and I found a lovely bouquet on my computer station at work on Monday morning. So cheery.

I’m the one with my back toward the camera.

I’m planning to use a choir-themed card for our holiday correspondence.

I’m just crazy for polar bears.

But I’m NOT going to have a polar bear on the lawn even though he’s very cute.

Do you have a favorite tree in its fall colors?

Seasonal Party Favors

I like to have a little something to give my guests when they come to the house for a party.

One year it was mini-cinnamon brooms for 99 cents each.

In the past I have given mini-cinnamon brooms, ring pops, and other small items.

The styles are varied.

This year Trader Joe’s has chocolate advent calendars for 99 cents.

An advent calendar for cat lovers.

I found 4 different types and bought a half dozen.

Less than 11 calories per piece of chocolate.

If the whole thing were eaten at one sitting it would only be 260 calories, but an advent calendar has 24 pieces of chocolate to be eaten one each day.

How do you count the days until a holiday?