Easy Entertaining

Hmmm, I think this is my blog.
I haven’t forgotten about it, it has just been difficult to find the last several weeks!  “Our Southern Table” has been more like “what is a table?” as we are on the way to the next destination.  On average, I am at home 2.5, maybe three days of seven in a week right now.  Between summer volleyball and basketball practice, camps, sleepovers, out-of-town guests, and taking care of grandparents, finding time for “me” (is that selfish?) or for just our family is so rare.
Determined to create a sense of normalcy, I decided to put together a BBQ in honor of my dear Audley’s 40th birthday.  After all, it is not an occasion to be missed, and we really needed the distraction from other things right now.
Over the years, I have really embraced the concept that you don’t have to serve a seven course meal to have happy guests.  The fellowship of friends and family is what motivates a gathering, not going over-the-top, putting yourself out or making your guests feel they were a burden because you did.  There is a time for “over-the-top” and a time for casual.
Anyone can entertain, it just takes a little goal setting and then putting those goals in place.
I looked at several options for our gathering, included the one of going all out, but realized in the end that I would not be a very good hostess if I was exhausted before dinner ever began.  Instead, I chose a route that allowed me to stay on schedule, having everything ready when our guests arrived for dinner, and allowed me to spend time with our friends instead of in the kitchen.
Audley is the king of the grill, but I didn’t want him cooking his own birthday dinner, so I called our favorite BBQ place, Aunt Beas, and ordered up eight pounds of chopped bbq and their famous mustard slaw to be picked up an hour before guests were to arrive.
While cleaning the house during the day, I pulled together simple side dishes liked baked beans, fresh veggies from the garden, and potato chips, then made the birthday boy’s most favorite dessert, which happens not to be cake!
I set up everything buffet style on a simply decorated table, arranging the food (except the BBQ) in bowls and platters for a personal touch.

 

The gladiolus are from my garden!

 

Drinks were simple as well; flavored water and iced tea.
pitcher from HomeGoods
So easy and absolutely appreciated by our guests!
And the simplicity and convenience of it all was appreciated by me!
 
As for Audley’s birthday dessert, nothing makes that man of mine smile more than bourbon-pecan pie and doughnuts, so this was his “cake”.
 I hope to post my pecan pie recipe later this week.
You might want to make one or ten of them before fall holidays arrive.  These are served up best with homemade whipped cream.
You have to love teenage daughter’s and their sense of humor!
All of us enjoyed a great laugh over Audley’s cards and gag gifts, but nothing defined the evening more than the gift he received in a brown paper bag.
You might be from the South if one of your birthday gifts arrived in a Mason jar!
 
Happy 40th dear Audley!
 

One thought on “Easy Entertaining

  1. Let's see…so much to comment on from the chuckle at the beginning to the chuckle, wait, I can't say that, you'll think it a horrible pun. Okay, not going there. I so appreciated your comments because I am entertaining next week and you've provided some great tips. I know that Audley had a happy birthday and I wish him a great 40th year. He's just a pup.

    Your glads are beautiful. I have such a soft spot for them.

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