Before the leaves entirely blanket the lawn and the water in the bird feeder freezes is perfect timing for a seasonal last hurrah.
As do all my gatherings, this party begins with a DIY invitation.
From a cache of black and white snapshots, this indelible image, which I’ve been saving for just the right occasion.
Scanned and uploaded to picmonkey for labeling
plus the addition of party particulars
PARTY DATE :
PARTY TIME :
PARTY PLACE :
PARTY WITH :
and the invitation is ready for delivery to guests. Mailing of the sort that requires an envelope and a stamp is my preferred method because it’s fun to receive an invitation for an event a few weeks out.
Inquiries from well-mannered invitees as to what they might bring are always lovely but never accepted. Your status is guest and that’s that, because I love creating the ambience and menu too much to share.
This party for 15 was an extended cocktail hour with a food buffet to encourage eating while imbibing.
Homemade Dips: Pimento Cheese and White Bean & Artichoke served with cut up celery and healthy, handcrafted pita chips. (Tip: Make dips, slice celery 2-3 days ahead & refrigerate; chips stay crisp in a plastic bag)
Salad: Beets, Mandarin Slices, Feta and baby lettuce, scantily drizzled with dressing and served in punchbowl cups (TIP: Wear disposable vinyl gloves to toss salad and fill the cups; a silver sugar bowl holds cocktail forks)
Creamy Tomato Soup prepared a day earlier and refrigerated. Gently reheat and serve in pitchers for pouring into a hodgepodge of cups. On the side, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish to sprinkle over the soup. (TIP: No spoons necessary)
Roasted Potatoes prepared 2 days ahead. Serve warmed. (TIP: Fondue forks make for easy spearing; available at restaurant supply stores)
Angel Biscuits by HamBob, virtually foolproof, made a week earlier and frozen.
Two sizes – bite and heartier – split and slathered with a mustard horseradish sauce and filled with thinly sliced tenderloin or roasted turkey breast. (TIP: Bake meats and freeze, defrosting a day before the party)
Setting up ahead of time, as much as a day even, is the best buffer to hostess stress-out. Plus, this is my favorite part – preparing the party landscape.
Sifting through my vintage collections of domestica, I really enjoy selecting and fluffing cloths, smoothing wrinkles, stacking mismatched napkins and plates, counting utensils, and checking glasses for spots. Early preparation lets me look things over, reconsider, rearrange, and finally, let it go as the best I can do.
With the holiday season fast approaching, this posting and photos are meant to encourage and inspire the Vintage Modern hostess within all of us. Yes, she’s there…deeper for some, but available to be resurrected and don that cute party dress.
Tie One On…Give from the heart…Then give thanks.