boy power

September 12, 2016

We just came back from a gorgeous wedding in Santa Barbara where so many of our good friends gathered together for a weekend of festivities. I got all sentimental and started thinking how important it is to celebrate the moments, big and little, and never take this beautiful life for granted. We haven't entertained much this summer mostly due to my husband having some emergency surgery.  During his recovery time his golf buddies were so good to him--calling, visiting, and inviting him to lunch, and now that he's all patched up, we thought before summer officially says goodbye we'd have a small outdoor gathering just to get some of the buddies together.  You can tell the guys really like each other and love to be with each other, so at the end of dinner I did something I've never done:  I gave a toast.  Now first I need to tell you that I can silence a crowd in no time--people fidget while I fidget and awkwardly stammer away, so that is why I have never summoned the courage to ever give a toast.  Until Saturday night.  It went something like this, "You guys are all so sweet to each other.  I can tell you really care about each other.  Thank you for being so kind to my guy," //tears welling in my eyes--astonished looks on everyone's faces//, "it meant a lot to us."  And then I blurted out, "Yay for boy power!"--it was all very ridiculous but everyone cheered and laughed but I really did mean it.  I am often guilty of stereotyping men to be not quite as sensitive and caring as the gals, but this month I found that not to be true.  So, yay for boy power and yay to all the sweet guys I know.

Now on to the party details:  A few days before I host a party I walk around my garden to get inspiration.  I usually have no idea what I'll make until that walk and/or a visit to our local farmer's market on Thursday night.  The centerpieces and other flowers will always be gathered from my garden, and this month the faded, papery hydrangeas are plentiful; their freckled dusty pinks and grayed out limey greens are simply beautiful.  This time of year I don't have enough vegetables to feed 12, but did manage to pick enough tomatoes for the appetizer and I had the soup base in the freezer.  The farmer's market provided the rest and I decided on this menu:

roasted tomatoes with bread crisps

chicken ragout from this excellent book, Ojai's Table
roasted baby patttypan squash

orange pecan cake, also from Ojai's Table

We had drinks inside, just because it's way easier for me to set it up that way, and then dinner outside; the weather was sublime.  I hired a kitchen helper--a total treat but I almost feel like it's a necessity when we have 12 or more guests.  The next morning I slept until 9:40 and totally slept though church!  I know for a fact I have not awakened that late in decades, if ever.  Like I said, this has been quite a summer!

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  1. Thank you for your very sweet post. You do have kind friends, but I suspect you are kind to them as well.

  2. That was a great post, Kristen. If fact, it was iconic Kristen Rettig!

  3. Beautiful Kristen,

    As always, you give me inspiration!

  4. So glad your husband is back to health and obviously so loved. Beautiful celebration of that! Glad you could sleep in and recuperate!

  5. Wow, what gorgeous photos! So glad to hear that your husband has recovered!


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