We set up a “utensil and beverage” station next to the cooler. There’s a pitcher of tea for iced tea, fork and knife bundles, sliced lemon and lime, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and “glasses.” The iris I cut from one of our plant beds. The “vase” for the iris is actually an outdoor, insulated beverage glass sans its screw-on lid and straw that I picked up for $2 from Dollar General — I could not find any non-breakable vases anywhere! I weighted the bottom of the “vase” with vase filler (little “stones”). With the exception of the sugar dispenser, all items are non-breakable — I like to keep breakable glassware off the deck as much as possible! I have a set of 6 square plates that match the pitcher, utensil holder, tray, and 6 regular “glasses” along the back of the tray. The 4 “all purpose” glasses (with the stems) and the dark blue bowls complement the set nicely, though, I think.
The day before the BBQ, I followed the simple instructions in my Williams-Sonoma cookbook and made up “napkin pockets” to hold the silverware — very handy for a buffet-type service. I tied the packets together with yellow or burgundy ribbon.
View of the back deck before the party. The little blue bowls each have a whole lime and lemon in them. The smaller table along the back is from our front deck.
LBK (Little Black Kitty) supervised everything to make sure we did it right. 😉
Tuna-stuffed jalapenos — YUM! They were a big hit — there were only 4 left! BTW, I have 4 of the plates with the fish theme, and they mix and match well with my other outdoor dish ware. Don’t let non-matching dishes and utensils and accessories keep you from setting up a festive atmosphere and having folks over!
Oh, and you can also get a better look at one of the irises and our other “vase.” 😉 Hubby and I will enjoy drinking out of them this summer.
Potato casserole — in this pic, you can see the bits of red and green pepper in the cheesy potato goodness. Putting the casserole dish in the rattan server is not only more festive, it also helps reduce the chance of any breakage on the deck (we served everything outdoors and ate outdoors).
Homebaked rolls, hot and fresh and ready to go into the bread basket to keep warm. I’d made up the bread dough the day before and then shaped the rolls in the pan before our
guests friends started arriving. All I had to do then was take them out of the ‘fridge, let them raise again, and then pop them in the oven to bake. Oh, and there’s the edge of the potato casserole in the corner. 😉
BBQ pork spareribs, hot off the grill and ready to be devoured.
Bleu Cheese coleslaw completed the main course — oh, and there’s that potato casserole again. That potato casserole is a camera hog. 😉
I’m afraid we don’t have any pics of the no-sugar-added cherry cheesecake — we were all too busy enjoying dessert to even think of pics! I do think I have a pic somewhere, though – I’ll try and find it and include it when I share the cheesecake recipe.
All of us had an absolutely enjoyable time, and because we’d planned things out and did so many things ahead of time, we were able to spend most of our time hanging out with and enjoying our
guests friends instead of having to futz about with things.