Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reid 50th Anniversary Party

My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this month. When Pootie and Diane (his sister) and Craig (sister's husband) and I asked his mom several months ago what they wanted for such a momentous occasion, she said she wanted us to have a party for them. So planning went into motion.

my mother-in-law, Geneva, in her element

There are some things that had to be taken into account, of course. My mother-in-law is gregarious and extroverted, and loves big galas and lots of people. My father-in-law, not so much. He prefers things a little lower-key and more intimate. Since we wanted to please both of them, we set some guidelines. Nothing too stuffy or formal, set the guest list around 50, and keep it simple. (We also had a budget - that's reality.)

my father-in-law, in HIS element.

We decided we'd do a 2:00 - 5:00 drop-in. Cheeses, nuts (besides those of us in the family already attending), crackers, olives, and fruit would be enough for something between-meal timed. And I'd make a sangria, have beer and have something non-alcoholic for the few little people that were dragged along by their parents. (Including our nephew.)

Craig with our nephew, Benjamin.

Pootie and I live about four blocks from his folks, Diane and Craig live much farther out. So we decided it made the most sense for us to host it at our house. Diane, Craig and our nephew Benjamin came over to help get the yard ready (in the sweltering heat) and then Diane came over to help me clean the house. They also helped set up yesterday morning before the party. I think I'm going to keep them as my Help. I bet they won't work for free on a regular basis, though.

We wound up with a gorgeous day, not too hot, so we were able to utilize the backyard. Kind of unusual for this time of year. We haven't been out there much in the past two months - it's been a brutal summer. Man, did we luck out.

The outdoor seating area all ready for company.

I decided to do a white peach sangria and watermelon lemonade. For the watermelon lemonade, I juiced two 5 lb. bags of lemons:

this wound up making my fingers raw, for some reason

I learned in the process that a five pound bag of lemons gets you about three cups of lemon juice. I juiced two five pound bags - so six cups of lemon juice.

juicing lemons smells SO good

I cut up one small watermelon - about six cups.

I simmered the watermelon with four cups of sugar and eight cups of water. (Split between two pots). Then I let that cool and mixed it together with the lemon juice. This is pretty concentrated, but I filled the dispenser up with ice and a couple of hours later and some stirring, it was pretty much perfect.

For the sangria, I peeled and cut up three large peaches and four apricots, mixed that with a quart of peach nectar, a cup of simple syrup (1 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup water), 2 cups of apricot brandy, and five bottles of Proseco.

it was GOOD, too!

That's all the "cooking" I did for this. Kind of disgraceful for a food blogger, I know. But there it is. I got some lovely flowers from Christin at Federal Point Farms.

We had a good turnout - about 40 - 45 people, I think.

Lots of family made it into town as well.

Phillip's Dad's brother, Roland and his wife, Ann - they've been married 60 years!

Phillip's sister Diane, our nephew Benjamin and Craig, of course were there.

Geneva's sister Barbara and her cousin Caroline.

Cousin David and Uncle John

As well as some mutual friends of ours.

Shannon and Phillip (Pootie) - he's trying to wrangle us a dinner date soon.

We drank sangria

And ate

And laughed

And congratulated two people for achieving 50 years together.

I hope Pootie and I will be so lucky.

1 comment: said...

What a LOVELY party! Everything looks so beautiful - love those gorgeous flowers on the table and that sangria looks divine!