This week’s go-to potluck item.

We spent Memorial Day weekend mostly around the homestead in a blur of outdoor band concerts, impromptu potluck dinners with neighbors and a float down the river.  There was an attempt to make home made ice cream that failed spectacularly when I realized way too far into the process that our ice cream maker was no longer of this world.  I tried googling how to make ice cream without a maker  but I didn’t realize until a few hours later it was probably too far along to really salvage. We now have a big plastic tub of frozen creamy strawberry mix in the freezer that is quite lovely with warmed pound cake or lemon cake fresh out of the oven at a potluck.

spring 1813 Continue reading

Life is what happens when you make other plans.*

DSCN4537It’s a known fact about my childhood that going to sleep in your own bed did not necessarily mean you were going to wake up there.  My parents were big fans of spontaneity and surprises.  As in, let’s put the kids in the car at 4 am and drive to so-and-so’s house to make breakfast.  Or let’s go surprise so-and-so at the beach.  Decide to head out on a camping trip at 8 in the evening?  Just par for the course. Continue reading

Pickle Fest.

DSCN3704The idea of having everyone over to sample my vast inventory of pickles one evening came out of the girls night I had a few weeks ago with what I refer to as the PTO crowd.  I’m not entirely sure why I refer to this group of women that way – perhaps because we are all the sort of women who step up and run things and at least a little bit of our friendship is based on strategizing who’s running what – school events, girl scouts, soccer car pools and the like.  At least, that’s how I began to get to know them and then we realized that we all like wine.  Also, our kids are friends and it would appear we are all the sort of moms who like to be friends with the parents of our kid’s friends.  As we sat there on the patio at Bang! that evening, we locked in a date on our calendars for an evening where they’d come over, see the finished dining room that I’d been whining about for months, I’d break out all my pickles for sampling – and we’d include our husbands.  Along the way, it was decided that everyone would bring wine & something to eat as well because by now they know the standard Calvert family entertaining mode is that everyone is welcome at any time, as long as you bring your own food & beverages.   We had a party once where we tried to supply all this ourselves and our guests, so used to our mode, went ahead and brought tons of things anyway, so I’ve just thrown my hands up in the air and decided to own it.

Honestly, it makes entertaining far easier.

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The Calvert Party Encyclopedia

My friend Allison, who happens to be the same Allison that did an entire weekend camping trip wearing a trash bag as a poncho in 3 inches of rain because I assured her there was no rain in the forecast and therefore, it was not worth running home for – which I would also like to point out she was an absolute trooper about, but then, that’s Allison.  She’s one of those rock solid people who takes everything in stride.  She’s the kind of friend you can call on a cold, snowy Saturday in January and ask to please bring you a chocolate banana milkshake because you just had a baby and your husband has told you his days of running out to please your every whim are over, thankyouverymuch and she then walks all over downtown in the snow looking for anything that’s open that will make you a chocolate banana milkshake and while she’s at it, she brings along a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which you’ve been craving for the last 9 months just in case the six pack you had sitting in the cooler on the back porch for such an event accidentally got left on the back porch in the excitement of leaving to have a baby, because it did.

She’s that kind of friend.   Kinda the bomb.

Allison came down to visit recently and brought me a most delightful gift that as soon as I opened it, knew I had to share it here. Continue reading