OK, so this really was one of my most challenging items on my 36 Things I Want to do Before I Turn 37. And in the end, I only had 18 at table. (Only 18, she says.)
I am a big believer in place card settings. I like to mix up my guests: separate couples and match up people who will have something in common. In the past, I made place card holders out of wine corks, reclaimed tin, and funky antique postcards. I was running out of time, and at Metropolitan Market the morning of the party when inspiration struck. In the cookbook section, I spied upon two picture books; one was called "Vegetables" and the other was called "Fruit". I used a box cutter and metal ruler to cut apart the books and punched holes for place cards in each page. Many of the guests thought I chose the images symbolically--"why did you give me a pear?"--but really, I chose them based upon color and the graphic quality of the image. I also let the guests take them home as a little keepsake.
We had three tables set up so we had to put some people on the deck....
.....and some down on the gravel patio.
My friend Greg helped us with set up and helped me get the food to the tables. Here we are assembling the flank steak salads.
My husband Trevor was a trooper. (He thinks I got it out of my system. I am thinking, when can I do this again?)
Two of my dearest friends, Danny and Rosie.
Everyone is too busy eating to notice me taking photos.
Matt is about to dig into his salad.
Dave is digging into goat cheese cheesecake with sour cherry/blueberry sauce.
Trevor explaining the size of our cat's brain.
One of the only photos of myself. Some smart person grabbed the camera when I wasn't looking.
You can never have too many friends or dinner parties in your life.
The flip side: I figured out that NOT counting the utensils, we washed over 130 dishes! Just like working in a restaurant again!
Next time I might hire a waiter. But then again, I like the putting together of everything. I am content. Besides cleaning a zillion dishes yesterday, I spent most of the day napping or reading my book.