Sunday, November 5, 2017

Local Ladies' Garden Club, October's Meeting

Last week was my turn to host my garden club at my home.  It was so much fun.  I love it when they come to my home and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Every other member hosts a normal meeting, not me.  My meetings get rowdy.  This time was especially exciting because we had a new member in attendance.  It was entertaining watching her.  No one warned her about me although she said she had her suspicions.  I wasn't sure what she meant but I chose to take it as a compliment.  That's always what I do when people say strange things about me, I take it as a compliment.  

Not that it mattered, but everything was cleaned, scrubbed, washed, polished and decorated.

Well, not everything.  I missed the muddy garden shoes sitting by the front door.  I had made a million trips to the garden collecting lunch:  plus herbs and roots were sitting on the porch drying waiting for their turn in the dehydrator.  It is me after all, I can't ever be perfect.

The menu was sweet or unsweet green tea, an assortment of hot teas or pumpkin spiced coffee served on my Grandmother's dishes.  I love using my (fancy to me) dishes, silverware and linens.  My men don't appreciate it.  They prefer plastic.  Sigh.  The ladies are different.  They are fine with plastic cups and paper plates (nothing to wash later), but when you bring out the good stuff, they are appreciative.

Dessert was chewy brownies and fruit.  No one went for the fruit but many wanted a brownie.

Lunch was the main attraction. We had a "pick your own" salad bar.  Never heard of it?  Well, neither had I but since it was a garden club, I knew they would be interested in all the weird things growing in my garden.  

Everything was picked fresh from the garden and the leaves were placed whole in vases.  The salad toppings, cheese, crackers, and dressings were placed in smaller bowls.  Scissors were used to cut the leaves.

As they circled the table creating their salads, the most common question was, "What is that?"  The second most popular question was, "You eat it?"  My reply was, yes and you are eating it today.  I only had to shame one lady into trying collard greens. 

Everyone wanted to try a bite of everything.  

After lunch, I presented the program and showed how I dehydrate herbs and fill capsules.  On the table are the tools I use.  Also, I discussed the medicinal herbs I grow and why I take them for particular ailments.  Fresh herbs used for cooking were passed around to be smelled and tasted.

The big basket under the table was dried herbs waiting to be ground to powder.  I did not have time to do it since I was preparing for the meeting.  

The club was participating in a garden show in another town the following week so they were preparing decorated pumpkins.  Only one could be entered so we were judging which one would be used.

The winner.
Being a judge is hard work I discovered.  How do you choose between different designs?  Each one was great.  Plus I knew each lady personally and was aware how much effort went into each arrangement.  These ladies take their flower arranging seriously.  I still plop then arrange.  I have so much to learn.

The final presentation was about Tahitian Butternut squash, of which I have so many!  I cut one and explained how to dehydrate, freeze, can and use it in cooking.  The last thing I did was block the front door as they were leaving and force each one to take a squash.  I am not above threats or secretly slipping one in an opened car trunk.

It will be a year before I host the group again. That gives me plenty of time to prepare and plan.  What will I do next?

Local Ladies' Garden Club, January's Meeting (2017)

Local Ladies' Garden Club, Valentine Party (2017) 

Local Ladies' Garden Club, July's Meeting (2017)


  1. Sounds like an AWESOME party! I would have loved to attend that! Fun, and laughter, and learning, and good food! The pick your own salad bar is a very clever idea!

    1. The pick your own salad bar idea was created to keep from chopping all the greens. Originally I was going to fix the salad and show them the leaves; then I realized, they could chop it themselves.

      I wish I could have a party with all my blogger friends.

    2. I want to be at that party! Especially if there is a pick your own salad bar!

  2. Jeannie
    I LOVED your garden party! Although I so much love to see what you did, and even had a few wishful thoughts about how fun it would have been to come, I'm so glad you have a bunch of real, live ladies to spend time with. I find I need both--my "bloggy friends" (as my husband refers to them) and my other friends.

    I love the decorations and pumpkins. I, too, love using my fancy dishes. Hurray for the holidays!

    1. I read your comment to my husband and I think "bloggy friends" will be a new term added to our vocabulary.

  3. What a lovely time you all must have had!
    I love how knowledgeable you are about herbs...everything is already there in nature.....
    Your oak mantle is to die for! Isn't oak wonderful....the grain is like no other.

    1. I love the oak mantle also but claim no credit because it came with the house. The previous owner was a contractor and he built this house for his wife. She told me it was her dream house and she never wanted to leave. After three years, she said she was tired and wanted another style. He agreed and they put this house on the market!!! Last weekend they were having a garage sale at the new house so I stopped to say hello. They have decided to sell and build again!

  4. All that extensive preparatory work is soon forgotten, when there is such a satisfactory result. All of your garden ladies enjoyed the
    afternoon. They learned new ways to prepare vegetables and valuable
    facts about herbs. So they went home with many good memories of a great meeting.
    You said, the ladies often asked "What is that?" So here are another two questions: What is pumpkin spiced coffee and what is the ball-shaped food on the plate (the 3 portions) ?
    Take a break now!

    1. I love your questions! First "pumpkin spiced" is a flavoring added to food and it has become a huge fad during the Fall. Stores and restaurants sell everything as being "pumpkin spiced": coffee, donuts, cookies, tea, ice cream, whipped cream, candles. Everyone has a sign up advertising something "pumpkin spiced."

      The seasoning is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla which is sweetened with brown sugar (molasses mixed with white sugar), cream plus the flavor of pumpkins. Some things taste good, others don't. I love pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice flavored coffee with stevia and cream. I bought it at Aldis after Christmas last year when it was on clearance real cheap so I got a whole case. Bill wasn't happy since he doesn't like it. That is fine since I will drink his cup!

      The three ball-shaped things are cheese balls. It is cheese with herbs then rolled in crushed nuts. It is something fancy and is served at parties. People cut off a piece and eat it on a cracker. One of them was mixed with port wine and was rolled in almonds. Another was a white Swiss cheese (I think) rolled in herbs and walnuts. And the last one had pepperoni and something else. I don't remember. Bill ate them.

      Now I can take a break!

  5. Your house is so pretty! Kind of a Georgian style. Is is an older home? Love!

    1. Our house was about 4 years old when we bought it and we have lived here 13 years. The previous owner built it and decorated it to look old. When we saw it on the internet, we thought it really was old and knew we did not want the upkeep on a 100 year old house. We kept passing over it. Bill does not like to do maintenance. I think many other people thought the same thing and it stayed on the market for over one year. The price kept dropping until it was in our price range. We wanted to look at a house close by this one so we decided to look at both. We realize it was new after we contacted the realtor and got the details. I was shocked when I walked in the door. It was obvious up close it was a new house but she had decorated it very well. We have changed many of the things she had done to "age" the property. I like new.

  6. I want to join your garden club...I love being rowdy. The salad bar idea was great, I just need an occasion where I can do something like that. So creative!

    1. You are welcomed Rebecca! I always have room for more!

  7. I used to belong to an herb group not a garden club. But, your club looks like just as much fun! I loved the ‘pick your own salad’. So many choices you had!