Friday, June 28, 2013

Real party: a farm to table fete

I have a wonderfully delicious party to share with you today submitted by Jenni of A Well Crafted Party. Jenni is a writer, designer, and party stylist from Portland, OR. A Well Crafted Party is a blog where she writes all about the little things that make life a party and life’s many celebrations. She also helps coordinate Portland Blogger meet-ups for bloggers in the Portland, Oregon area.

I love a good party and usually the better the food and drinks, the better the party (in my opinion). I love that this party is centered around Jenni's husband's favorite foods and was inspired by his urban garden.  Their garden and backyard served as the perfect backdrop on what appeared to be a gorgeous summer evening.

I'll let Jenni give all the details (don't miss the recipes at the end of the post!).

My husband’s 31st birthday was a few weeks ago and we wanted to celebrate by having a dinner party with friends in our backyard. We tried to keep things simple due to a crazy busy summer, so we just put out a few handmade decorations to make the space pretty and give the event a more celebratory and cohesive feel. 

My husband just started his urban garden this year and really enjoys the whole movement towards sustainable food and self-sufficiency. He also really loves beer and German food. So, I tried to bring all of those elements together. 

We decorated tables with simple white table cloths, white flowers (from the super market!), homemade pickles, menus, and candles. The homemade pickles doubled as favors. (I just used my pickled asparagus recipe and substituted different vegetables to make the favors for everyone.)Currently I am loving the look of hand-lettered signs— so, I crafted all of the signs, menus, and favor labels with gold calligraphy ink. We put the bar area in the little garden area of our home and held the main party in our backyard. Guests enjoyed going back and forth from one area of the party to the other. 

The bar area had space for nonalcoholic options as well as wine, beer, and two signature cocktails. I served my fruity version of a Whiskey Collins and a simple and refreshing Basil Gin Cocktail. I made easy to pour mixes for guests to pour over ice and top with soda water to make serving the cocktails simple. For the meal we stuck with some simple dishes with a German flare. We simmered several different styles of bratwurst in beer for hours before the party. They turned out delicious and SO easy. 

The menu:   

Appetizers
  • Pretzels with Fondue
  • Meat & Pickle Platter
Entrees
  • Sausages
  • German potato salad
  • Red cabbage salad
  • Cucumber Salad
Desserts
  • German Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Vanilla Cupcakes
The best part about this meal is that I was able to prep and do most of the meal before the party, leaving me time to actually enjoy the party instead of staying in the kitchen the whole time. The three salads are to be served at room temperature, so I didn't have to worry about items not being hot when serving time came around! 

Recipes:

German Potato Salad— Takes approximately 30 minutes and serves approximately 15 people depending on how much each person wants to eat!   

Ingredients
  • 5 lbs of red potatoes cleaned, and diced into small bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 white onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup garlic mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup diced dill pickles
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs boiled and crumbled
  Directions
  1. Boil all of the diced potato until the potato is soft, but not so soft that it falls apart.
  2. Drain potatoes and put in a large bowl.
  3. Mix potatoes, mustard, apple cider vinegar, onion, pickles, parsley, salt, and pepper with a large spoon until incorporated. Try not to let everything get too mushy by over working.
  4. Put into serving bowl and top with crumbled boiled eggs.
  5. Serve at room temperature.
Cucumber Salad—Takes about 10 minutes of prep time and at least 1 hour for marinating, serves approximately 15 people depending on their desired portion size.   

Ingredients
  • 4 cucumbers thinly sliced in discs
  • 1/2 white onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional red pepper flakes for heat
Directions
  1. In a bowl mix together both vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside for a moment.
  2. In a large baking dish mix together the cucumber and white onion slices.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber and onion slices.
  4. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least one hour, but not more than 3 hours.
  5. Drain the vinegar out of dish and serve cold or at room temp. The cucumbers and onions should be slightly sweet and pickled.
Thanks so much to Jenni for sharing all the beautiful details of this very special birthday party. I can't wait to try the German Potato Salad!

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this party!

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  2. Such a beautiful party! Love it!

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  3. Jenni - the party was awesome, I would have loved to be a guest at it! A perfect summer event for a foodie. Thanks again for sharing!

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