Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Entertaining

We shattered the fun barrier last night with a birthday party for Mrs. J. with just the "girls." Entertaining is all about celebrating our friendships, and we surrounded our friend with love and affection, remembering old times. The setting was a unanimous decision, at Mrs. K.'s Tommy Church quatrefoil swimming pool and swinging 60's pool house.

I will digress a moment, as this style of pool was a distinct signature of this California landscape architect. Church was renowned for his departure from the prevailing neoclassical designs of the time introducing what is now known as California, or modern style.

This is the quatrefoil pool built by Tommy Church in 1958 at Lakewold Gardens North of Tacoma Washington, which is now open to the public.  Church was an obvious choice for this family who embracebd the sixties with the same vigor as their children. While my parents were appalled, Mrs. K.'s parents saw the possibilities.

Yes, and the fact that they never re-did the place is even more brilliant! The lights can be switched to black light, and the foil behind the trelliage reflected a twirling mirrored disco ball. I remember dancing in black light with a very big smile, laughing at everyone's very white teeth--a dentist's dream. But, back to the party! Yesterday, we hauled ourselves to the farmers market to gather the flowers, as our gardens are fried from the heat wave.  Mrs. B. and I love to do table flowers in small containers so we can all chatter over each other--the decibels.

It really is the easiest way to arrange for great effect, but requires a good quantity of flowers. The farmer's market purchase set us back a mere $36.00.

While I am no Amy Merrick, the talented flower forager, we did tuck around the grounds looking for interesting additions to the bouquets, and I was delighted to find this parsley gone to seed. I think it added dimension and the bit of wildness I love in arrangements. Mrs. B. looked perplexed, but didn't stop me. Now for the food! Normally we split up the dishes and bring them along, but since we had such a special occasion we turned to our dear friend/caterer/restauranteur Joe Curran of 1703 in Winston Salem. I will admit it was nice to be served for a change, we should really do this more often.

One of our hostesses poses with the hors d'oeuvres, a simple, scrumptious summery concoction of goat cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil. In case you are wondering about the wonderful bar, it was done by the famous outsider artist, Sam McMillan, who is beloved in Winston Salem. More about Sam in another post. For the main course Joe prepared the famous chicken marbella recipe from the first Silver Palate cookbook. It has the most unusual combination of ingredients, including prunes! Do not be put off, as the soaking in red wine vinegar overnight takes the cloying sweetness out of them and balances the tart vinegar. 

We had so much fun celebrating with Mrs. J. that I have been completely hoarse all day. Her love and friendship has meant so much to those of us who are lucky enough to know her. We felt all the love and happiness that Mrs. K.'s Mother envisioned when she created this space and this little work of art below. 

Happy Summer Entertaining to 
All You All! 

Later, I'll share my Summer reading list with you  
which has prevented many a post, but gave me a nice respite
from my self imposed computer vacation. 

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  1. Love the pool, the flowers, love how stylish all of you look!!

  2. What a fun and elegant party, that pool is amazing!! Love the quartrefoil unusual. Nothing like an "all girls" party, they are always such fun!

  3. What a fun evening Liz!! I love your flowers and you're right, the parsley adds a great textural interest. Chicken marbella was my stand by entertaining dish when I was a single girl in the city. My husband is a purist when it comes to matters of gastronomy (the nice way of saying he is conservative and doesn't like to experiment) and would never eat prunes with his meat so the recipe has been relegated to the "remember when" files!! Have a great weekend!! When are you coming up to see the girls?

  4. Adore the pool the setting and everyone looks summertime fresh!!

    I am sure it was a festive occasion Liz!

    Art by Karena

  5. Liz-
    You just have a fun life! You love helping others and making them the center of the world.
    I love everything here, and the quatrefoil pool is amazing. Gave me an idea for a garden pool!
    Thank you for sharing this lovely party, and I hope you get your voice back soon.

  6. Wow - the quatrefoil pool is amazing! Looks like a wonderful party.


  7. What a gorgeous the pool!!

  8. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.Scientific roots of Coaching

  9. I'm late to the plate, as ever and the party must seem forever ago (almost) but it sounds just what the doctor ordered after the time you've been having. I hope you're starting to feel more caught up now.

  10. The pool setting is absolutely gorgeous! Great pics!


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