As the world reawakens, so does our entertaining spirit. Hose down the porch, and throw open the windows—it’s time for spring-cleaning the house; the garage; and, yes, even the guest list. Let’s add to and weed out whom we normally invite to our parties, and make what might otherwise be a predictable event something fresh.
Invitations should set an established theme and goal. Are we celebrating, or just getting together? Try enclosing a packet of pansy seeds in every invitation.
Drinks for our Spring Blooms theme should be brightly-colored with light flavors: a fresh Lemon Drop martini, a sultry Sidecar, and a sparkling lemonade, all garnished with pansies. A good rule is two spiked beverages and one nonalcoholic beverage for the bar. Cocktails that can be made before the party are a must.
The menu is as bright as it is delicious: simple apricots with chopped walnuts and blue cheese; rye crackers topped with honey cream cheese and radish microgreens; and a vegetable platter of vivid sliced peppers and ricotta pesto dip. For a hot appetizer, baked bacon-wrapped green olives. To finish, bite-size key lime pies, using the recipe you found last winter in Key West. The menu and cocktails can and should be prepped the day before.
Decor comes straight from the garden. Use sod as a table runner in the kitchen, and on the coffee table, the sideboard, and the patio. Tape down trimmed lawn bags as an underlayment. Once the sod is laid out, fluff it, and cut a few holes with a kitchen knife. Pop pansies into the hole, and you’ve got an instant spring centerpiece.
Party time arrives, and you greet your guests at the door—preferably with cocktails in hand, on a tray, or on a nearby table. You made drinks and menu items ahead of time, and everything’s under control, so you now can be the perfect host.
Postparty, put your guest list, recipes, and notes in a folder, including photographs. This party book will help you organize your next great event. Every successful party makes you and your guests look forward to the next.
We hope to see you this summer at the Eastcliff Garden Party in June and at Evening on the Terrace at the Governor’s Residence in July.