I love my ROSES!
I know I said I would be posting recipes from Italy or more about the biking in the Loire but the last week was consumed by getting ready for my first large dinner of the summer season. So the garden flourishing, after a very cold and rainy spring and early summer, is worth an interlude before I get back to those other topics.
For several years I have given a summer dinner in celebration of my peonies. But this years rain and my trip to Europe jettisoned that idea and as the saying goes; “when God closes a door he opens a window” is true in this case…. so while my drowned peonies did not inspire a celebration my roses have been the best I have ever had. Result, the peony party transitioned into the rose dinner.
As many of you may have seen in my books peonies on variations of blue and white are a constant theme so I felt a change was due for my rose dinner so I decided green, white and country had to be the look. I raced off to my favorite remanent store and found a lovely striped, always my favorite, fabric but with 36 guests there was not enough fabric for a super long table but then found I a big green check that would be different and a bit more ” country”. Squeezing out a table cloth for a 40 foot long table out of a limited supply of fabric is always challenging. With an inch or two to spare we made it! Next what china and vessels for the flowers? Well I returned to my tried and true big service of white French kitchen crockery. It is classic, simple in design, easy to care for and transitions easily between traditional and modern styles. To decorate the tables I mixed all shades of my garden roses in classic english milk pitchers, both antique and new, and then added small baskets of summer fruits in-between the bouquets.
I originally planned an Italian dinner with vitello tonnato but for some reason, I simply cannot remember why, I switched to a light Mexican menu. Baby tacos, and guacamole were served in the cutting garden with cocktails. Then we returned to the back veranda for chilled gaspacho, a salmon in a green mole sauce, black beans with corn and cilantro, salad followed by coconut cake and homemade lime sorbet.
My roses in the garden were at their peak my guests loved being there and sharing their beauty and happily strolled back to the house on a perfect summer evening.