Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’,
I wonder where the birdie is?
There he is up in the sky,
He dropped some whitewash in my eye!
I‘m alright, I won’t cry,
I’m just glad that cows can’t fly!
To mark the occasion, we’re having a party today!
(Before you continue reading this post, get the video below started — it’ll add some appropriate music to the experience. Go on, you know you want to add a little class to your day 😉 )
scratch that. Hubby says it’s not a party, we’re just “having some people over.” 😉
And truthfully, that’s rather how we look at it. Many folks have a tendency to get themselves all nervous and worked up when they think of “hosting a party,” but if you look at it as just having a few folks over, it suddenly seems less daunting. The gathering we’re having this afternoon started with the idea that 1) currently, our weather here is fairly temperate (as opposed to the oppressive heat we usually have in the summer here), so it’s pleasant to be outdoors, on our deck; and 2) hubby thought it would be nice to have the gent who leases our pasture for his horses over for some barbecued (BBQ’d 😉 ) pork spare ribs.
And then, as we thought on it a bit more, hubby thought it would be nice to also invite our two “new” (they’ve moved here within the past year or so) neighbors (these are our nice neighbors, not our crazy, Evil Neighbors).
After checking with both parties, everyone agreed that today would be the best day. It was only when I looked at the calendar did I realize that today is the first day of Spring. 😉
As we usually do whenever planning the menu for a special occasion or event, hubby and I determined the entree first and planned all other items from there. Here’s the menu we came up with:
- Appetizer: Tuna-stuffed jalapenos
- Main: BBQ pork spare ribs
- Side: Potato casserole
- Side: Bleu Cheese Coleslaw
- Side: Homemade Yeast Rolls
- Dessert: No-Sugar-Added Refrigerator Cherry Cheesecake
One couple is bringing another appetizer; the other, a dessert.
We selected these items because, for the most part, we can prepare or ready them ahead of time, leaving us free to relax and visit with our
guests friends. Yesterday, I made up the dough for the yeast rolls and had it go through its first raise. I also folded up some cloth napkins into little “pockets” to hold the silverware — I’m using cloth napkins because 1) BBQ is messy, 2) it’s kinder to the environment than paper, and 3) paper napkins will be prone to blowing away in any breeze, whereas cloth napkins will stay put a bit better. And I’ll just toss them into the washing machine when we’re done with them. And speaking of the environment, all the dish ware, drink ware, and serving ware will be unbreakable , washable outdoor ware — I like to keep breakables on the decks to a minimum. The only glass on the deck this afternoon will be the baking dish for the potato casserole, and I’ll place it in a rattan serving basket before taking it outside, minimizing the potential for shards of broken glass everywhere.
This morning, I’ll make up the jalapenos and the cheesecake. I’ll also make up the potato casserole ahead of time and just keep it in the ‘fridge ’til we’re ready to bake it. I will shape the rolls and then place them back in the ‘fridge until I’m ready to take them out and let them raise again before baking. I’ll season the ribs and start slow-roasting them in the oven; hubby will finish them off on the grill just before we are ready to eat. The bleu cheese coleslaw, too, is quick and easy to put together — especially when I use the pre-packaged shredded cabbage — and I’ll have it done and hanging out in the ‘fridge, developing its delicious flavors, before our friends get here. I’ll be listening to music or have the TV we have in the kitchen, making the prep work a rather relaxing experience for me.
Hubby will get some ice for the cooler so we can have some white wine, beers, and sodas right there on the deck, and I’ll make up a pitcher of tea for iced tea, as well.
So, by the time our
guests friends start arriving around 3 or 4 PM (we’re keeping things loose and casual), hubby and I will be free to relax with them and enjoy this first day of spring — and hopefully, our friends will say “Oh, that smells yummy!”
Happy Spring, y’all!