Garden Party, Part 2

I'm happy to report that our first Garden Party was a sweet success...

Our prep, which I covered in yesterday's post, also included us placing Beth's colorful tissue flowers in HollyBeth's frontyard trees. We also dangled some pretty paper flowers from the driveway trees...all leading our Garden Party guests to the backyard.

We mixed tables and chairs and adorned most of the tables with a white tablecloth...

Then we mixed and matched all of our favorite new and vintage dishware. 

Beth finished making our two sided napkins that morning, which was perhaps my favorite touch of the day. HollyBeth diligently placed flower clippings from her beautiful yard atop the tables...It was a Garden Party afterall. 

And then of course was the cocktail. We wanted it to be something from the garden so we used some lavender blossoms to make the simple syrup, then added that to vodka, champagne and soda water. Mint ice cubes too. Ridiculous. I think it's my new favorite drink.

I made the cucumber gazpacho- a recipe my friend Vanessa shared from her favorite cookbook, Plenty. It's a really great soup as the dish has a lot of layers to it. I made it the second time with twice as many jalapenos for a bit more of a kick. We topped each cup with some edible flowers I found at the Grant Park Farmer's Market- provided by Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet.

HollyBeth made her perfect Southern Drop Biscuits. They were a mix of herbs from the garden, like Thyme and Lavender, Sour Cream with Rosemary and Mint. I could eat these all day long, which I actually did. 

Beth was in charge of dessert and she blew us away with an incredible Georgia Peach Sorbet with fresh mint and a dab of honey. So good...

I think it's fair to say, a good time was had by all. I certainly enjoyed every moment of it. It was fun for Beth, HollyBeth and I to say thank you to some of the people that have helped us and inspired us over the years. 

Near the end of the party, I passed out the Peach Butters we had made previously. (FYI- If you sign up for our Sweet Peach Revival Bourbon, Bacon & Biscuit Brunch, you'll get our homemade Bourbon Peach Butter free!) 

A big thanks to Beth and HollyBeth for all your hard work and patience and care in bringing this together. Let's do another one! 

 

Photos: Sweet Peach, Stefanie Carter      Content: Sweet Peach


Garden Party: Part 1

When I first visited HollyBeth Anderson's home (of HollyBeth Organics) and saw her backyard, I texed our friend, Beth Lord (of the indie-pendent) and said we have to have a party here. We ultimately decided on a Garden Party, each inviting a few close friends who have helped us in our creative endeavors. It was our way to say thank you by smothering them with some goodness and prettiness...

Our plan was to utilize HollyBeth's beautiful yard (which backs up to 40 acres of green space, so she has many lovely birds and critters meandering about). We decided on each of us making something: HollyBeth-drop biscuits, Me- cucumber gazpacho and Beth- Georgia peach sorbet. 

Beth made the gorgeous invites with card stock she had on hand, some scraps of vintage floral fabric and a bit of twine. I love that girl...

We also purchased new fabric to create two sided napkins for the tables and takeaway gift...

For the gift for our guests, we enlisted Lyn Deardorff, our resident master canner for some advice. Together we decided on making Peach Butter. Lyn, "I prefer making butters from fruits because little or no sugar is required." Lyn cares deeply about the craft of canning and I was so happy to have her help us. (Sign up for her amazing canning workshops, here.) 

To make 5-6 half pint jars, you'll need 4 pounds of peaches (firm, at peak of ripeness & organic as you'll keep the skins on), plus organic sugar to taste.  

Prepare for water bath canning by filling your canner or large stockpot with mason jars and cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and then let them sit at medium heat while preparing the peaches. Put flat lids in saucepan or heatproof bowl. Prepare peaches by washing. Cut into halves and remove pits. Do not remove the skins. Cut again and place in stockpot, then bring to a boil over high heat. 

Continue cooking over medium heat until the peaches are very soft in texture, about 20 minutes. Puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add sugar, if desired, to level of sweetness preferred (none is required, however).

Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture reaches soft ball stage. This can take from 20 minutes to a full hour, depending on your peaches. You can test when they're ready by placing a spoonful of the mixture on a plate. When cool, it should hold its shape, not run when the plate is tilted. 

Ladle boiling water from the canning pot into the bowl with the lids to sterilize. Remove your mason jars from the stockpot and place on a towel. Ladle the hot peach mixture into the hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Clean the rims and secure with lids and bands. Place jars back in large stockpot, making sure water covers them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes to process. Remove jars to folded towel and leave undisturbed for 13 hours.

Check lids for tight seal. Label them and make 'em pretty, then store in a cool, dark place. If unopened and sealed, your peach butters will last 6-12 months. Once opened and refrigerated, the butter will last for 3-4 weeks. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Garden Party tomorrow to see how it all turned out...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach