Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday in Marg's Kitchen

I've always enjoyed hosting larger parties. Ten years ago when we remodeled our home, I inquired about building a patio covering for our back yard, for those times when it was cold and rainy, when we expected hot weather.  Finally we decided, forget the renovations, which would mean more expense, cleaning and maintenance in the long run.
Simple solution:  "Let's order tents for minimal costs and have a real party."

While I was in Europe visiting family this past May, word came out that Char, one of our cooks would be coming to BC. Immediately, I knew I was all in ..."let's make a party." In the background I heard Judy say that she would help!  I can tell you know ... I don't mind hosting, but it's sure fun to work with someone who has endless ideas.

Start an Event Outline.

Set a Date:  It didn't take long after a bit of chatter back and forth that we all settled on Monday, July 18th. Two months gave us plenty of time to plan, after all it's just an old fashioned BBQ.
Location: Bartel's back yard, rain or shine.
Time:  6:00 pm 
Purpose:  We love to get together, cook, eat each other's food and spend time connecting
Guests:  Mennonite Girls Can Cook with their spouses

It's way more fun to host and work together.  Invite a friend for a pre-post party planning time.

Find a theme, colors, country or formal.  Check out Pinterest for ideas. Once your theme has been decided upon, check to see what supplies you have in your home, in order to save yourself an extravagant cost.  Between both of us we could supply tables, and chairs, vases, flowers, and all sorts of things from tablecloths to burlap runners. We started texting back and forth chatting about the decor ideas we had in our own homes.
The menu had been discussed a few weeks earlier, as we decided to choose the 'signature dishes' posted in our forth coming book.   
One thing I'd like to emphasize is to make sure you let God orchestrate his own plan at the same time and be ready for the unexpected things he can do in an extra ordinary way.
We decided on favors, something homemade, something with wheat, to fit our theme which continued to develop as we thought about our new book, 'Bread for the Journey'. Our lists became longer and longer.

I have always enjoyed setting my table a few days in advance when hosting celebration events. It makes it look special and as the family pops by they know that I'm thinking of all the details to make it special. Planning in advance allows for those unexpected visits, like the grand kids dropping by unexpectedly.  Don't look at them as an interruption, but enjoy some activities with them and tell then what you are doing.  

What are things that you can do to prepare a few days in advance?

 Collect and count your cutlery.

Decide on your plates and napkins.

 Gather your coffee cups in a tray.
Clean your coffee pots.

 Plan for your favorite serving platters which help present your food,

Gather your linens.

Gather your floral bouquets

Use some old vintage canning jars.

Wrap your favors.
Judy had baked small loaves of bread and wrapped them individually.

Assemble your decor and play with it.

 Prep your food as much as you can in advance.

The final Day, Monday, July 18th, 2016!
Check everything once more on your list.
Enjoy this day ... do a quick clean, a few clean hand towels and tea towels.
We clean before and we clean after right?
The sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky, only for a few hours.
At the end of the day it was evident that we needed a tent.
Thank you Tent Guys for your wonderful prompt, friendly service.

It was so much fun decorating the table and making the seating plan.
Four Costco tables with costco chairs.  Simple and Easy.

But remember what I said about allowing God to be a part of this event?

Last week  (just one week before the party)
there was a real buzz of excitement, as Lovella announced
that a pallet of books had arrived in their shop.
She even asked us if she could peek.  You know the answer.
The excitement grew as we started coordinating our theme
as a 'book launching event'.

Little did we know that when our wheat was planted last fall that it would be
the perfect setting for our backdrop photo shoots with our books in hand.

And little did any of us know that our author copies would arrive just in time for our event.
The day was so perfect as we sat around the fire pit sharing our journeys.

More news will unfold over the next week.
I can only give you a peek of our cover.

Bread For The Journey!

This book is interspersed with devotionals that share our dramatic family stories and tantalizing
recipes, which invite us to extend our tables and share God's blessing with others.

That was a fun weekend in my kitchen.
I hope you can find some planning tips that make it easy for you?
What are some of your favorite planning tips?


  1. Marg, what an exciting time for you all - your 3rd book! Congratulations. I look forward to buying and reading it. God's timing is wonderful. Dairymary

  2. I am so excited for you ladies! How wonderful to have another book published - congratulations to all!!! Marg - your party ideas, decor and all looked so nice. Several years ago we hosted a "30 years on the Farm Party" and purchased a 13 X 13 party tent. It has been used many times and as recent as this past Sunday for our nephew's wedding (as their drinks tent). Planning and hosting parties is a lot of work but oh so rewarding. I especially love it when there is a theme and your's was fabulous! What a great backdrop for the pictures as well. Can't wait to buy your most recent book!

  3. What Really - Wow so glad for all of you girls-- I have all 2 books-- so when will they be available for us in Winnipeg !!! and Judy looking good there--:)