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An Evening of Wine & Roses – always have a back-up plan!

June 23, 2009

Every year my husband and I plan a party in the backyard when our 300 feet of climbing roses are in full bloom. Over the years the party has ranged from small and intimate to larger affairs for up to 100.

The menu was planned, the garden weeded, the lawn mowed and an outdoor tablescape designed. As Friday dawned the skies turned an ominous shade of gray, the clouds gathered and then the rains or should I say the monsoons came!

Well, so much for an evening under the stars amid walls of climbing roses. I quickly had to restage the party inside & hope for a brief interlude of 'no rain' so we could barbecue the prawns and baby lamb chops.

Our guests arrived with a sense of adventure and parked their 'arks' outside. Cocktail hour stretched from one hour to almost 3 hours (Thank goodness I planned heavy appetizers.) while we waited for a brief respite from the rain so we could cook the main course. Oh, did I forget to mention we also had a brief power failure too! (Thank goodness for my love affair with candles.)

Finally the weather cooperated long enough for us to light the grill. Guests, with glasses of champagne or martinis in hand, took off their shoes and wandered outside to enjoy the roses and vegetable garden. Laughing guests returned with wet and somewhat muddy feet to stacks of rolled towels at the back door to dry their feet.

The men stayed outside to finish grilling, the ladies helped pull everything together in the kitchen and dinner was finally served! The rest of the evening progressed amid the glow of candles, party music and much laughter!

Over the years I've learned to keep entertaining fun the key is to stay relaxed, always have a contingency plan and don't take it too seriously.

Sometimes potential disaster can turn an evening into to pure magic.


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