Whether it’s with good friends or family or both, an organic evening from start to finish will create a warm rosy glow of contentment.
Plan the day out and you’ll be able to enjoy the evening as well. This is a plan for simple nourishing food but substitute other ingredients if you prefer.
During the morning and afternoon prepare some, or all of the following salads. Chill in their serving dishes in the bottom of the fridge.- you’ll have time.
Anything that needs cooking and cooling can be done while you’re prepping other stuff, so here goes…
During the day, prepare some, or all of the following salads. Chill in their serving dishes in the bottom of the fridge.
Steam or boil diced potatoes until tender and leave to cool completely. Stir in some chopped chives and a mayonnaise sauce- try half mayo and half natural yoghurt. Taste sauce before adding to potatoes. Chill before serving. Optional extra: mix in some walnut pieces and chopped celery.
Cook rice and leave until cold. Put into a large bowl and mix in; sweetcorn, chopped tomato, onion and green pepper. Chill before serving. Add a few nuts and even dried fruits if liked. Can be served with a mayonnaise sauce.
Finely slice a lettuce and put into a large bowl. Loosen with your hands or a large slotted spoon. Mix in a very finely sliced onion and a tomato. If available, add sliced organic cucumber, sweet peppers and a few chopped fresh herbs.
Grate or very finely chop some white cabbage, an onion and a raw carrot. Mix together in a large bowl with a mayonnaise sauce. Chill before serving. If available add finely chopped walnuts and celery
Now you have a selection of salads, prepare the dessert:
Chop any fresh organic fruits you have available and mix with a few dried fruits and nuts. Search the market stalls for an exotic fruit or two, such as mango or pineapple, to add a touch of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your salad! Leave to marinate for an hour before serving. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a cool place.
For the main dish at your home garden party,
you could choose to have veggie burgers or the equivalent, or even organic steak if you don’t want to get too vegetarian!
If you have a few laying hens or ‘you know a man who does’ make a huge spanish type omelette for your guests.
Most of the ingredients can be prepared in advance:
- Dice and steam or boil a couple of largish potatoes until just cooked. Drain and leave to cool.
- Slice some mushrooms and simmer gently in a little water in a frying pan for a few minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
- Slice and gently simmer one or two medium onions – as you did with the mushrooms. Drain and leave to cool.
- Boil a few peas. Drain and leave to cool.
While this lot is cooling, clear up the chaos in the kitchen and find a fairly large flat dish – a chopping board will do. When the veggies are cool, arrange them in small heaps on a board and set aside, covering with a cloth to keep them moist and to protect from flies.
The next step is an outside job!
Shut down the barbeque and build a fire instead. You’ll need some space but investing in a fire pit may be a good option. But, if you have the space and some large stones available, have an old-fashioned fire instead.
Side note: If you decide on a fire rather than a barbecue or a firepit like the one below, you’ll need a trivet to go over the fire.
Find a comfortable spot in the garden, away from trees and wooden fences etc; and make a circle of stones. These should be large stones, about housebrick size – but no bigger. The diameter of the circle should be about 20 inches (50cm) or so. Then make another circle of stones around the first one about twice the size.
NB: If you don’t have space to build a fire, use your barbeque grill Or invest in a firepit.
This firepit on Amazon (UK) is around £140 at the time of writing
In your middle circle, build a fire. You can do this as you would light a barbeque, or collect some paper, card and small dry twigs and some larger logs to keep the fire burning. The next thing to do is find two sticks at least a metre long around broomstick size in diameter. You can use these to control the flame and, to a few degrees, the temperature of the fire. When your fire has got going and the flames are low, place a trivet over the fire, and start cooking…
Use the long sticks by pulling them out and pushing them into the embers. When you push them in, the flame will burn higher. Normally you will need to keep the flame low, but if left too long, the fire will die, so heating it up and removing the pan from time to time will keep the embers glowing nicely.
NB: Don’t use your best pans for this!
If you’re cooking steaks or veggie burgers – throw them in the pan and get frying! If you decided on the omelette, bring your covered board of prepared vegetables to the fire and place in between the circles of stones. Beat eggs in a bowl, allowing two per person. You could do this in shifts if there are more than four people eating. The cooking time is quick so by the time the first shift have dished up their salads, the next servings are cooked.
NB: Enrol some help 🙂
Pour a little oil in the frying pan and add a spoonful of each of the ingredients on your dish: potatoes, onions etc; Stir gently and pour beaten egg over the mixture. Sprinkle on some grated cheese to taste. Add a little black pepper. Cook gently for a few minutes, then turn and cook for a few minutes on the other side. The omelette will probably fall apart during this manoeuvre, but push it all back together -it will taste just as good.
Now dish up your main course on individual plates and let everyone serve themselves from the delicious spread of salads decorating your outside table.
Carefully remove the trivet from the fire, place a few logs on and enjoy your meal to a crackling fire in the night sky!
Voila! a wonderful organic home garden party!
And still later……
after everyone has complimented you on a delicious meal and scrummy dessert, play a traditional parlour game to round off the evening. Avoid card games or word games. They require far too much concentration!
Entertain each other by showing off what a fool you can be by playing charades. Choose the name of a song, a tv programme, a film, whatever, and mime the title – abosolutely no speaking aloud, unless you’re under ten yrs old, then you can have a few concessions! If no one guesses your mime, you have the added embarasment of having another go.
And when all your guests have gone home and the children are in bed, take a few moments to sit by the fire and watch the dying embers, and remember the evening with gladness in your soul and good food in your body!
P.S. Download the pdf!
The Garden Party Planner will definitely help you get the most from your garden parties this year. Available on Etsy.
Tip: Read through the planner first and collect your ingredients together before you start.