|Left to Right to Left: Chris, Matt, Craig, Lynn, Rachel, Linh, Seth, Tina, Sloane, Jeanne, Tim, George|
This is Supper Club. A cooking and eating group started amongst friends who kind of knew each other. Through work, through our spouses, through other friends. We were on-the-surface friends who hung out, but over the last two years of cooking and eating together every single month, we have become family. We yell at and over each other. We share plates, forks and water glasses. We drive each other absolutely fucking crazy. We are in and out of one another's lives on such a regular basis, our "real" families sometimes wonder, why do you hang out with these people all the time??? Are you guys swingers? It's hard to pinpoint when we became a family, but somehow, magically, it happened. And we wish for everyone out there, to find a group of like-minded people, as fun, as reliable, as wonderful as the family we have made for each other. You can find out more about the beginning here.
More about this month's Supper Club after the jump....
July Supper Club
Hosts: Linh & George
Location: The Bristow Back Patio
Even though we knew it would be close to 100°F even late into the evening, there was no question about whether we were eating outside. It was going to happen. You see, one month ago, there was no tin roof on our back patio. It was just a scrappy concrete slab with a dirty picnic table, a couple of grills and random pieces of worn furniture everywhere. Let's just say, it was kind of a shit hole.
But Tim, the ultimate workhorse of our group, said he was going to put a tin roof up for us. It would cost less than $300 and he would do all the work. You know how people say they're going to do things and then they don't? That's not Tim. One week before Supper Club, he called and said he was coming over. Six hours later, we had shelter. As amazing as Tim is, he couldn't do it all. There was some electrical finagling that had to be done....and in stepped Craig. One day before our dinner and another six hours out in the sweltering sun, Craig said, let there be light! Not only did we have light, but he also put in an outlet so we could plug in fans and an old school boom box. George, my dear husband who was on vacation, stepped in to strip and stain our pathetic picnic table. Another half day of glorious sweat and effort exerted on behalf of our upcoming meal. All of a sudden we had shelter, electricity and a table to feast upon.
Matt came by early to help move some heavy plants and do some cleaning. Lynn loaned me an extra fan and an extension cord. Tina made a couple of playlists and of course, captured the whole evening so beautifully. And I cleaned the holy hell out of our house.
Everything you see in the following pictures is either handmade, borrowed or vintage. Even though we do put a lot of effort into making each month's dinner special, we try not to buy anything unnecessary.
After buying some watercolors from Jeanne's daughter, Jane, at a craft fair (Strawberry Swing), I asked her to paint me some place cards. I gave her the size I wanted, sailboats as the theme and a list of all our dinner guests. Each person's sailboat was slightly different and mounted on color card stock. I was so thrilled with how they turned out; everyone got to take their little pieces of art home with them.
Since the picnic table was freshly stained, I only dressed that table with a runner, made by another talented friend, Rachel Sky. The remaining linens and vintage vessels were all estate sale finds. Jeanne and Craig loaned me all their seashells, rope and lights.
I hung IKEA curtains over each corner post and added large potted plants to frame the space.
Aside from linens, I also love hoarding chairs.
My collection numbers to over 40; no guest will ever want for a seat at our house.
These sturdy oak chairs were a garage sale find, $5 each!
I made a banner out of the pages of a sailboat book. Jeanne helped me mount a page to each side of card stock, we punched some holes and strung them between a length of twine. It was a simple project for our nautical theme.
Last month at Supper Club, we tried our hand at "planking."
This time, Craig said the new thing was "owling."
We try to take group pictures every month.
This month, I also asked everyone to dress in the nautical theme. That meant a lot of stripes,
boat shoes, a couple of pirate hats made out of maps and some seahorse accessories.
Tim and Lynn's basil, garlic, white bean, Fontina cheese stuffed squash blossoms.
With grilled corn and pesto.
Sloane and Matt's Lobster Rolls with brioche buns made by pastry chef Carter Holton.
Rachel & Seth - Watercress with Smoked Salmon and Green Apples.
Tina and Chris' Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberries, Blueberries and Powdered Sugar.
A bottle of Middle Creek Cayuga White from our neighbor Katrin. Her parents just started making wine a few years ago and this one just won a bronze medal. I can't remember where but Doug Frost was one of the judges. Unfortunately, the bottle we tasted was corked because it had gone to the lake and back.
Chris and Tina were our plus twos. As the hosts, we got to invite two guests. Unfortunately, Chris is allergic to shellfish/seafood so we sat him at the end of the table and took extra care not to send him to the emergency room. George and I grilled rib eyes with scallops and roasted garlic, jalapeños and tomatoes, all seasoned simply with salt and pepper. We plated with Jeanne and Craig's shrimp and grits. But the light was long gone for a good photo. Special accommodations for each course were made for our seafood-challenged friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone for making this month's Supper Club so beautiful and so wonderful.