We love having company both summer and winter. And I do like the formality that seems to be winter entertaining but I embrace the casualness of the entertaining we do in spring and summer.
On the patio -- before it gets too hot -- and although we have a table topped with a tablecloth, often plates, napkins and cutlery are on the baker's rack to be picked up by the diners.
|My rose geranium adds a bit of green to the plate table.|
Blue and white plates which were actually bought for garden use. Johnson Brothers Asiatic Pheasant. Blue napkins also bought for garden use but used more than any of my other napkins for I love the texture of the napkins as well as the blue color. Cutlery is rolled inside. All placed on a tray which makes them easier to tote to the garden.
|Ollie got a whole appetizer that I foolishly dropped!|
The tablecloths are William Sonoma yellow with blue butterflies. I've had them for several years, they launder well and I love the sunny yellow color. They go well with the blue and white plates and blue napkins. You can still get them at Williams Sonoma. Although I considered them pricey, I really feel that they are worth it.
Oliver feels that the best place for him when we have company is under the table. You can keep your eye out for any drops or spills and if he's quiet we forget he's there and he's safe to forage -- if he remembers that I'm not the easy touch Husband Jim is.
Dinner was easy and seasonal. From the Farmer's Market
|Healthy vegetables ready to grill.|
Big green onions, purple cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini and new potatoes and a green pepper or two. Several cloves of garlic were interspersed among the vegetables and branches of rosemary on top. In a big wire basket to be placed on the grill.
|Easy but good risotto.|
Risotto with garden peas and spring onions. It's Ina's baked risotto which is a great way to make risotto when you have company -- you're out with your guests rather than stirring rice in the kitchen.
|Guests were warned not to eat until after the picture was taken.|
The grate topped table holds the food. Husband Jim smoked pork tenderloins which were perfectly cooked -- oh, so tender!
|A great garden dessert.|
Dessert was a blackberry time favorite -- Sally's Fresh Blackberry Tart. The recipe found long ago on a PBS Saturday Morning Michael Chiarello Show. Copied and saved for years before I decided to give it a try -- we now make it yearly. It is sooo good! Especially with a good plop of whipped cream!
SALLY'S FRESH BLACKBERRY TART
For the crust:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds (or almond flour)
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 pound cold butter, cut into small cubes
5 to 6 T. ice water
For the filling:
6 cups blackberries
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 T. butter, small cubes
Juice of 3 lemons
1 T. finely chopped lemon zest
1 T. brown sugar
For crust: In large mixing bowl, mix the flour, almond meal, brown sugar and salt together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture. Add the ice water and gently knead until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and form in flat disc about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400.
Sprinkle flour on the countertop and roll out the dough to an even thickness, round shape. Place dough round in a 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Fold any edges inside, forming a thicker crust. Leae the dough a bit longer than the edges of the tart pan to allow for shrinking during cooking. Line the inside of the crust with parchment paper or foil. Pour in beans or pie weights filling to the edges. Bake about 20 minutes or until bottom begins to look cooked. Let cool. Remove the beans and foil.
For tart: Toss the berries with the flour, salt, sugar, butter and lemon juice and zest. Stir in the brown sugar. Place the fruit in a saute pan over medium heat and cook just until a sauce is formed. Place the fruit in the baked crust and bake for about 40 minutes or until the fruit bubbles and juice thickens.
Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours before slicing.
It's Thursday and I'm joining Susan at Between Naps On the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.