Well folks….it is that time of year again, autumn is fast approaching. I came home on Friday, sat on the deck in the late afternoon sun, a cool breeze ruffling my hair, crispy, autumn air, reminding me that fall is approaching. Summer is drawing to a close, school has started, leaves are starting to turn. Well instead of whining about the “unofficial last weekend of summer”, I decided to celebrate it with a bang! Summertime entertaining to me are casual hangouts on the deck, good friends, easy and simple dinners on the grill. When I think about summer I think impromptu parties, shorts, sun, flip-flops, salty snack foods and grilled meats. All of that was on tap for the weekend!
I live at the end of a cul-de-sac and Friday I received a Facebook message inquiring about the possibility of a block party on Sunday afternoon. I responded yes for the hubby and myself and asked what type of menu we were looking at? Burgers, dogs, chicken, salads, desserts?? Turns out that was exactly what everyone had in mind. Perfect.
Saturday my next door neighbors invited us to their home to celebrate their oldest daughters birthday. What a fun time, being relatively new to the development, it was a nice chance to celebrate with our friends in the neighborhood and meet some new faces. My goodness, it was also a complete baby fest….lots and lots of little ones. I came home with my arms tired from holding so many cute babies.
I had asked if I could bring a dish to the party, I was told it wasn’t necessary but I can’t show up anywhere empty-handed. I was craving a really good dip and some crunchy vegetables, so I foraged in the garden for a whole slew of herbs and minced them up. The recipe couldn’t be simpler – it is just fresh herbs, minced, garlic, minced, salt, pepper, mayo and sour cream. My Aunt Barb taught me how to make it years ago and I have never made it the same way twice. I use whatever herbs I have on hand, sometimes I add garlic, other times grated onion, it just depends on the contents of my fridge, pantry, and garden. It is such a refreshing dip, it is great with veggies but I really love it with salty potato chips!
Sunday morning the skies were cloudy and the humidity was beyond ridiculous. It rained on and off all day, we were totally playing the day by ear. If the rain stopped at 5pm, we were all going to meet at the end of the cul-de-sac, with chairs, tables, and food. Thank goodness the skies cleared! We had such a fantastic night, we put up four canopies and only had to dodge the raindrops one time during the night. People brought what they had, everyone shared, we had games, music, and a ton of food.
Since the invite had gone out on Friday, I knew I wanted to be prepared so on Saturday afternoon I made this red bliss potato salad, this spicy ketchup, and these refrigerator pickles. I figured I would round out my offerings with a few batches of cookies on Sunday morning before the party. Since things were so touch and go because of the weather, I decided to marinate some chicken breasts. My thought was, if we don’t end up getting together, we can have chicken, potato salad, and cookies for dinner, if we do, I can cut up the chicken and skewer it with veggies.
I thought about taking pictures of everything on the table, but between the rain ending at 5pm, setting up tables/chairs and finishing up the skewers, I decided to heck with it. I was going to plop my fanny down in a chair, eat some really delicious grub, and enjoy the day. People came and went, kids and adults played all sorts of games, we brought out some lights and turned up the boom box. We had all imaginable ages of people, all enjoying the time outside, mingling and laughing with friends. It was the perfect late summer afternoon and we all can’t wait to do it again soon. We already have plans for a pot luck Halloween in the cul-de-sac, since it falls on a Friday night. I am thinking chili and cornbread but I am open to suggestion!
Anyway, don’t let the labor day holiday spoil your summer plans…we still have twenty-one more days of bliss before fall arrives. Use them wisely people.