A nice glass of wine, a great meal and some good music.
It’s an easy recipe for creating a good time. Add to that a beautifully set table and some interesting people, and all of a sudden,
there are memories in the making.
I am the one who loves to bring people together. And yes, it is a lot of work! It’s also very rewarding!
Both my husband and I come from rather large families. While there are still quite a few family members around, we both can remember Holidays with 30 or more in attendance. We call those Holiday Food Festivals, or in the Abruzzese region of Italy, where my dad’s family originates from, it is called La Panarda.
In ancient times these celebrations lasted all day long, sometimes over 3-4 days, even!
There were in excess of 40 courses. How did they manage that? That’s a lot of food for a lot of people!
While we don’t eat like that anymore, we sure do enjoy a leisurely dinner of two or three courses on special days.
Getting together on a Sunday afternoon before Christmas to handmake Ravioli was truly a labor of Love. Cousin Sal was adamant that we make the Ravioli for our Christmas dinner. My husband’s mother, Marie, would make these from scratch around the holidays. She would enlist anyone’s hands she could to help her with this process. We all decided that before I forgot how to make them, we would make so many of them that we couldn’t possibly forget!
120 Ravioli later.
We ended the day with a simple dinner of Grilled Italian Sausages with Sautéed Peppers and Onions, and a nice bottle of wine. It was a very relaxing way to end a beautiful day.
When out of town Family comes to visit, it is always a good time to have everyone over for an outdoor BBQ. This past summer was no exception. When you look at the photos of my outdoor dining space, you will see that we have room for up to 20 people at these tables. When we were designing and planning the space, we knew it had to come with a large seating area. There has been so much laughter, story telling and memory making around these tables. The photos I have of the People, the Food and the Celebrations around this table mean the World to me.
This was the first Family dinner we had at these tables once the Backyard redo was almost Complete.
What else? A PASTA DINNER for this Italian Crew!
Sometimes a simple preparation of Beef Bourguignon with good crusty French Baguettes and a beautiful French Bourdeaux is all you need for a casual and heartwarming supper. It’s about the love that goes into it!
For me, there is always something very satisfying the day after one of these parties; remembering the laughter, the conversations and the fun we shared. In a world where we have all become so fast paced about everything, I take
Great Pleasure in slowing things right down.
When I think of the Celebrations we have shared here in our “Backyard Living Room”, I always cherish most the times when my parents would come out from the East Coast, a week in advance of a Party, to help me organize and cook. We would Food shop, organize the Kitchen and Pantry, and laugh together. Each day’s preparations would always end with a simple dinner and a glass of wine. By the day of the Party itself, we had everything ready and these events would take on a Life of their own. We have Celebrated Christenings, Family Reunions, Birthdays, and “just because we’re together” moments.
As we head into the New Year, I am full of Hope and Anticipation of the Celebrations on the near Horizon!
What Dreams May Come!!!