Throw a Great Memorial Day Party….. Part One: The Concept


“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ~ Virginia Wolf

I couldn’t agree more! Eating alone is fine, enjoyable and necessary, but dining with loved ones, especially in celebration, is sooooo much better. For me, as the More is More Mom®, entertaining in our home is the pinnacle moment in which so many of my favorite things converge at one time and create a “super experience” that is rivaled by little else. The fantasy of entertaining allows me to toss traditional convention aside (okay, you’ve got me, a More is More Mom® is all about throwing caution to the wind at every turn. Rules and sensibility be damned!), and indulge my craving for creative expression, authenticity and a rockin’ good time.

Entertaining guests in your home should be an event! There is nothing better than good company, good food, good music, good wine and good times. In my mind every event, big or small, should be celebrated. What makes these events successful is the feeling of joy and happiness that our guest’s experience and the fond memories they have after our party is long since over.

Memorial Day is next weekend…..how will you be celebrating?

Over the next few days, I am excited to be sharing with you some of my ideas and philosophies with regard to tablescapes, buffets, menus and recipes.

Clearly, I’m a gal that loves drama (maybe not so much in my daily life, but more by way of the fantasy of entertaining). Life is a show. Our conversations are dialogue! Our clothing our costumes! The soundstage of our lives is the set we design to represent and interpret our priorities and our truest (and very best) selves.

In my interpretation of everything…..my vision starts with an over-the-top (think Ziegfeld’s Follies or a Busby Berkley musical ….if you don’t know what those are, it is time for a quick visit to Wikipedia and the American Movie Classics Channel …AMC, check your local listings) and authentic show.

For Memorial Day, a celebration of Americana, what better way to start than with a table setting showcasing an All American Quilt as a table covering? I actually love to incorporate blankets of sorts in to my table designs…..they are washable and rarely wrinkle! They are interesting and easy to use; a total bonus. The one I am using here has enjoyed many incarnations from wall hanging, to bedding, to table settings. Such versatility! In fact, I took it right off of the bed in my guest room (and ran it through the wash…not to worry.) before I used it here. Talk about versatile and getting your money’s worth….

 

Because my table covering is so graphic, the remaining elements fell in to place rather easily. A centerpiece of red mums displayed in a simple, ridged, glass vase is timeless. I incorporated denim placemats (which I had in my inventory), red-white-blue plaid cloth napkins (napkins are items that I collect and hoard….always in the 20’s, just in case.), caramel colored leather chargers, white stoneware dishes, with a really pretty, but classic scalloped edge (embellished with a patriotic fan at each place setting, from JoAnne Fabrics, 3 for $1.00), red handled flatware, large red tumblers (donning an American flag in each glass), two blue glass hurricane lamps, cobalt blue votive holders and a crystal bowl full of beautiful cherries. The display was warm, welcoming and authentic.

 

While the table setting looks great, one of the most important elements, never to be over looked, is the….bar. The bar is a happy place, and should look the part. As a general rule, I corral the stemware and glassware on a tray of some sort (I have many from which to choose….shocking, I’m sure). Here I have selected a finely woven rattan. I love the organic quality and texture of a naturally woven fiber. It’s yummy! Unless you are stocking your beverage tub with bottled water, it is really nice to put out a pitcher of water for the comfort of your guests. Everyone needs a water chaser every now and again.

 

Offering a variety of beverages is also rather hospitable. Here I am featuring beautifully bottled Lime Aid, wine, beer and a sparkling beverage (of course, here in the “House of More” there are many more chilled beverages in the refrigerator in the kitchen , the fridge in the mudroom, the fridge in the garage, the fridge in the basement……I guess we are a thirsty people.). I have provided my guests with lemon and lime slices (who totally doesn’t love a pretty garnish?), napkins, festive, party straws and my favorite….alligator bottle opener. There is no reason for me to have an affinity for the alligator. They are not the mascot representing my school. I just so happen to adore the whimsy and silliness of the alligator as a bottle opener.

Here’s a little tidbit to make your bar more interesting and personal. After you have added ice and beverages to your ice bucket, try to incorporate an object that re-enforces your theme, be it by spirit or color. Today I have chosen to add beautiful blueberries to my beverage tub display and they are just the right amount of color and texture to scream, “Attention to detail.” There is nothing as special as paying attention to the details…….

I hope you will visit with me over the next few days as I share with you my menu and recipes and buffet design for….Creating More Meaningful Life Experiences…..

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