lobster fest

June 16, 2014

We consider ourselves very lucky to have friends who are gracious and innovative hosts.  When Carole and Bill invited us over for bocce ball and lobster, we knew it would be a fun evening and couldn't say yes fast enough.  The weather was picture perfect, the setting sublime, and the menu was simple perfection.  Let me share a fun evening with you!

We've been having so much fun playing bocce ball.  We have several friends who have installed courts.  It seems like it's pretty popular around here.  I never remember any private bocce ball courts until the last half dozen years or so.  Most courts have ground granite and oyster shells for their surface, but this is an artificial surface, more like a tennis court surface.  Bocce courts are a beautiful feature for a back yard and don't take up as much space as a tennis court and is more fun to play as more people can be involved.  Plus no special clothes and you don't get sweaty! 

I first played Petanque (the French version of the game) in the south of France a few years ago.  A friend organized a 2 day tournament for the 50 plus friends who had gathered in Collioure, a small town in the south of France near the border of Spain.   A mutual friend was having a significant birthday and decided he would celebrate it in Collioure.  Be forewarned, if you decide to have a destination birthday, be prepared that everyone will accept!  I only tell you about this petanque tournament because my husband and I won!  Me, non-sporty me, actually won!  This is the first sports tournament I have ever won and I was positively giddy! 

The landscape surrounding our friend's bocce court is dotted with Coastal Live Oaks, natives to California and one of my favorite trees.  We had an incredible 400 year old live oak in the back yard of our previous home.  I miss that magnificent guy.  To complete the setting, recently planted Iceberg roses, olive trees, lemons and limes are just getting a footing.  Chairs and tables with umbrellas provide seating on either side of the court because there's plenty of down time in the game.  Our hosts brought wine and appetizers to the court and we played for about an hour before it was time for our lobster fest.

Expert advice from Carole.
Time to eat!

Our hosts went to the fish market that morning and chose their lobsters 
 and asked that they be cooked and ready to be picked up at a certain time later that evening.  
When it was time for the pick up, you bring a cooler with some heated gel packs inside, 
bring them home and serve them up.  Yep, that's it!  
I could not have been more surprised when Carole 
opened the cooler and there they were, hot and ready to go!
Sour Cream Coleslaw, recipe below.

My plate was gorgeous.

Eating lobster is messy business. A plastic tablecloth, paper bibs and these cute paper place mats are a must!

My husband and I went berry picking earlier this week so I brought the dessert.  I'll post my pie recipe soon.


Corn on the Cob
Sour Cream Coleslaw

Ollalieberry Pie

Carole's Sour Cream Coleslaw was delicious and I asked for the recipe.  It's from the Gourmet's Menu Cookbook, c. 1963

Finely shred 1 head of cabbage, arrange it in a heap on a chilled platter, and cover with thin slices of peeled tomato.

To 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise add 1 tablespoon each of celery, pimento, green onion, and chervil, all finely chopped.  Stir in 2 scant teaspoons chili powder and 1/2 cup sour cream.  Pour this dressing over the tomatoes and cabbage and chill the slaw thoroughly.

My hostess said I could take home the shells to make stock.
 Five quarts are now in the freezer.
I see a lobster bisque dinner party in my future!

The links!

And now for some knitting!  Week 8, Ripple Cable, is up for the Mystery Afghan KAL.  Week 9, Cable Trim is also up.  Then we have a few weeks to catch up before finishing.  Umm, I am going to need a few more weeks, how about you?  I've got a looooong plane trip this week and am planning to bring this with me.  More about that trip later!  Very excited! 

You Might Also Like


  1. Oh my gosh, that is my party! What wonderful photos.


  2. Bocce ball, huh? Wow! Who'd have thought??!?!?! I know the little old Italian men in "Little Italy" here in the KC area love to get together to play. There really must be something to it!

    I would kill or die to have a destination birthday like that! I don't think any of my friends or family would even cross the state line for me! :-)

    What a fabulous party! First, I LOVE the placemats. Those are the quintessential placemats for this kind of event! I have seen lots of those paper placemats popping up in stores, and I'm going to jump on that bandwagon in a hurry! There are so many terrific designs, and I think they're recyclable, too. That's a plus!

    I didn't know there are places that will prepare the lobster for you like that. I wonder if anywhere here does that. We're not exactly a coastal town, y'know! That would make throwing the party 1000 times easier if that part of the preparation was already taken care of! I love the presentation with all the lemon wedges!!!

    Have fun making that lobster bisque!

  3. When I bought my house ages ago, it had a shuffleboard court and I think quite a few homes built in that era (late 1940's - early 1950's) had them around here. I took out the shuffleboard court after playing on it for a few years. Now it seems that the bocce ball court has replaced the shuffleboard court in popularity.


You make my day when you make a comment!


afghan Alana Dakos ally pally ambassador Amy Herzog Ankestrick Arte Italica baby Baby Cocktails bakelite baking berry picking Best Friday of the Month best of Ravelry Big Sur blue transferware book review books boutique brook cables California candy child children children's activities Christmas Christmas crafts Christmas knitting cleaning collections cookie cutters cookies cooking craft Crafts crochet cross-stitch day trip decluttering decorating designer spotlight discount diy dog dolls Easter eau de vie Elizabeth Bradley Elizabeth Zimmerman embroidery entertaining Facebook fall fall decorating fall garden family featured first car fit flower arranging flowers free pattern Friday night party group friends funny Fur garden gardening Giants Gifted Hostess give-away giveaway gluten free gourmet group Halloween herbs holiday home how to set up a party group jewelry Kaffe Fassett KAL Kim Hargreaves kitting Knit Picks knitting laundry Le Jacquard Francais Little French Knits Los Altos lunch Mailbu Making Things Marie Wallin Martin Storey menu minimalism money talk mosaic movies my house my patterns my town nails needlepoint needles October challenge Octoberfest ollalie organizing original design outdoor seating owl party prep pear peg dolls pies pomegranates poncho preview quilting recipe recycling redwork review roses Rowan San Francisco Sarah Hatton sewing sewing room tour shawl shopping shower social media softie spring spring garden stash Stitches West summer summer garden summer knitting Sunday Morning Swans Island table setting test test knit Thanksgiving Three Irish Girls TNNA tomatoes top 10 list toys travel tutorial twinning ufo Uncommon Threads vacation Valentine vegetable garden videos wedding winter garden wip Woolfolk yarn yarn for sale Ysolda