2013 has seen me jump into the deep end on a few things and dinner parties are no exception. For some crazy reason I have been born into the present age with the entertaining habits from 1964. There’s no explaining it but I have always enjoyed the act of throwing a party — planning out the details, outlining a menu, decorating the space, setting a table. Maybe I’m a throwback, I don’t know. At any rate, I always start with an idea or theme and since Valentine’s Day was on Thursday, I settled on a Sweetheart’s Dinner.
Due to a baby’s birth and a crazy work schedule, only one of the other three of JT’s bandmates and his wife were able to join us. Looking back on things, I’m not sure that we could fit eight people into the tiny Living Analog abode.
I tried my hand at a few crafts for this party and some worked out while others were a total fail:
That one-staple heart construction paper heart garland might look all right in the picture but it wasn’t really cutting it. They weren’t really going to hold their heart shape once strung up. I used some fishing wire to hang up a few tissue paper pom-poms in the dining room for that extra pop of red. A few of the small ones I put on a grapevine wreath on the front door.
For the big meal, I scouted the interwebs for some good recipes. The salad we had made before but all the rest were new to us.
Tuscan Bread Salad
Dilly Stew with Rosemary Dumplings
S’More Pops (see them above in the trophy planter? They were yummy. And not vegan. But I did find vegan marshmallows at Local Harvest Grocery after the fact).
Coffee & Heart Cookies
I used the two Nelson-style slat end tables and the beer-pong table top all scrounged from the wonder that is our basement to create a “glam camping” table. I cut out some more red construction paper into simple hearts for place cards. Because people still use place cards in this day and age, right? Well this old-timer does!
I gathered together all the sheepskins I have managed to amass in our house (no more unless they’re faux!) and also pulled out any and all pillows for extra comfort. Shenanigan immediately honed in on an extra floor-covering and planted himself like a very large parasite on the rug. That dog likes comfort. We banished the dogs to the bedroom during the big event so we didn’t have to worry about any interferences – dinner was so close to the floor and much closer to Shenanigan’s nose height than dinner usually is.
And there is everything all ablaze! We’re lucky we didn’t burn the house down. You can’t see it in the pictures, but the vessel in the middle of the picnic table is actually a firepot we got from my father-in-law a few years back. You put some gel in the middle and light it up. The flames were at least three inches tall during the whole meal. It added some extra excitement to what could have been simple things like passing the bread. All in all I think it went well! We only forgot one thing and nothing burned and/or was inedible (that we know of. . . ). It was really great to spend an evening with friends and enjoy some food and 1964 style hospitality. Next up is a “Mad Men” birthday party for my sister in March, so then I can break out my 1964 style dress (and candy cigarettes I bought for the occasion!). Cheers – CT
The living/dining room are coming along nicely. I’m not usually a fan of tablecloths, but that Docksta in your dining room looks really nice with the simple white one.
Thanks Nick! For daily life we don’t use a tablecloth but I thought for a dinner party it would up the *fancy* factor. Cheers – CT
Everything was beautiful! I bet you all had a wonderful time.
Thanks Dana! I made a point to keep my stress level low and not focus on perfection so that helped me also have a good time! Sometimes I stress myself out too much on these things so I just made sure to remind myself that with good friends we would have a good time no matter if the whole meal was charred beyond recognition. Cheers – CT