willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs

“Cool” Summer Idea

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! The hot and humid weather finally broke in our area and it was beautiful. As I posted in my last blog, this weekend was a task filled one. We put a huge dent in the garage clean up but we took some time out to enjoy this beautiful respite from the oppressive heat and we entertained outside.
I wanted to share with you a couple of the ideas that I used this weekend that are very simple. I had bought these fantastic old Belgian slates when I went to Maryland and I used them to label each of the food items that I made. I like to entertain casually with a spread of dishes that you can help yourself to in the summer but as people are serving themselves there is always the questions of “What is this?” These made the perfect menu description cards so to speak. All you use is chalk and a wet sponge to wipe them off for next time.
I have been keeping these canning jars filled with flavored water in my fridge for us to grab. They are quite refreshing and again easy to make. You just slice some washed fruit or vegetables, pop them in the jar and cover with water. Chill in the fridge for a day to extract the best flavor. One of my favorite combinations is cucumber and mint but lemons or oranges is wonderful too. Really any combination of flavors that you like works well.
Add a circle of wax or parchment paper and embellish with twine and a tag and you have an entertaining yummy addition to your dinner!
One word of caution when entertaining outdoors…check everywhere for bees well before you expect your guests. We have this fabulous beverage container that I had made out of an old copper tub that I found that we had set into a brick facade. It has a great little flip up wooden table on the side so I can put glasses or ice etc on it. As I was setting up, right before the guests were coming, I flipped up the side for the first time this season. I quickly shut it as I was greeted by the humming of a large nest of yellow jackets who found that little hidden spot quite appealing. Now what? I couldn’t move all the beverages I had put in the ice in the copper tub for the bees knew that I was on to them. So what is one to do when all of her children have been put on a hunt to find the errant can of wasp spray to no avail and the first guest is pulling in? Whew!!! The first guest lived right down the street and was so kind as to go get us his can of wasp spray.
Never a dull moment!
Today it is back to work and I am leaving on a “pickin” foray for two days. I will post from the road.
Happy travels to you!


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  1. Lovely ideas, as always! I especially liked the “menu” slates. I did something similar for a recent wedding that had multiple cupcake flavors, but I love the slates for a more casual setting. Have fun picking!