Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Purple Dress Dinner

Last night, our family celebrated 2nd annual "Purple Dress Dinner".   To be honest, I almost called it off because of the stress-and-strain of the recent week -- not to mention that I knew this morning I'd have to jump in a rental car and drive 700 to a different kind of party, "MathFest".

But, oh man, I'm so glad we had the party.  It was wonderful!   And just what I needed, in so many ways.  For one thing, three of my kids who I didn't expect to be here actually came:  K-daughter got home from work sooner than I expected and brought A-child with her, my youngest step-daughter just happened to be in town instead of at grad school in Minnesota, and even J-son showed up.  That means, of our six kids, we were missing only my oldest step-daughter, who has the good excuse of living several hundred miles away with her husband.

Eight-ninths of a complete family reunion!

But even more, we got to toss into the pot a few other friends, most of whom, it turned out, had "family" ties to me in odd ways.

Friends in purple are friends indeed.

For one thing, the host family that J-son has landed with came, so we got to meet each other.  The mom and I had some very very good conversations.  Yes.   Also, my own former host daughter Y came and helped me cut up CSA vegetables before the party, for old times' sake.  She's just finished up a year leading Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship at my college, and she's headed for medical school in a week.  We also got to be elegant with my friend K, who had long ago suggested to us that we ought to adopt a child from Haiti (the adoption of X-son fell through, but we still support him).  So there were a lot of family ties, Miser Mom style, among these guests.

We dined on elegant finger foods, had deep and intensely helpful conversations, and then went for a stroll.  The stroll included the requisite tour of a local rose garden.  It was good to take time to smell the flowers.
These roses were pretty but didn't have much of a smell;
the yellow "Julia Child" roses had an aroma to swoon for.

As for dinner, you may or may not care about the menu.  But as I ran around pulling together this party at the last-minute, I found it super helpful to look at my pictures and remember ideas from last year, so as a service to my next-years's self, I'm posting bad pictures of good food here.  With the exception of the fruit and wine, this was all made from food I was lucky enough to have lying around the house.  How nice to have a well-stocked larder!

Tomato-basil salad in small canning jars with spoons, and strawberries on skewers.
Hummus on summer squash, and cherries on the stem.
Also, just out of the photo, fresh-baked bread and a jar of carrot-top pesto.
Kale with lemon massaged into the leaves,
quiche in muffin pans,
and sliced cucumbers.
Not pictured:  Chocolate cupcakes.


  1. I like how one of your sons manages to wear a purple dress in the first photo. Okay, technically I can't tell if the gal on his hips is wearing a dress, but in my mind, she is.

    So glad you did this and it turned out to be fun, PLUS things are going well with "the village."

    1. Close! She's wearing purple exercise leggings (which, since she just got into town and found out about all this, we were delighted by), and N-son is wearing purple shoes.