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Simple Celebrations

6/27/2014 8:34:00 AM

Tags: Celebrations, Picnics, Family, Simple Parties, Erin Sheehan

Erin SheehanWe celebrated our second wedding anniversary June 3. Like last year, we planned a picnic for two at a nearby state park to mark the occasion. This year we had to postpone due to the weather, but it didn’t matter. We had a nice dinner, starting with a salad using our very own greens from our back porch container garden. We sat at an overlook and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the outdoors.


There was a time when I was younger that I thought a “real” celebration had to mean going to a fancy restaurant or traveling somewhere, but now Jim and I are happy with a simple evening outdoors, eating home-cooked food.




Growing up, all of our family celebrations centered around home cooking, with the emphasis on good company and good eats, not fancy surroundings and being waited on. We celebrated my mom’s birthday last Sunday. The menu couldn’t have been simpler. Each family invited brought their own burgers to throw on the grill. We had homemade hamburger buns and homemade mustard. We also had homemade pickles, homemade zucchini relish and homemade chili sauce, all canned up last year with our garden vegetables. We had a cabbage salad with fresh cabbage from the garden and deviled eggs from a neighbor’s chicken.



For dessert we had rhubarb pie with rhubarb from the backyard and apple pie with canned apples from last fall. I don’t believe you could find a more delicious feast at the fanciest restaurant in Paris!

Offering guests homemade food, especially when you are using home-grown produce, is the greatest gift a hostess can give. It’s opening your heart and home to your friends and family in a special way. I encourage you to start small: try to bake your next birthday cake. Even if it doesn’t look like the ones at the grocery store bakery, that’s OK! Let me know how it goes. 

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6/30/2014 9:00:03 AM
Erin, you are so right about the celebrations of years past. When my wife and I got married way back in 1978, it was a second marriage for us both and we didn't have much money to spend on the wedding but wanted as much of a traditional wedding as possible. The wedding dinner after the wedding presented a challenge for the budget so we decided to make it potluck. My wife's Dad bought the meat for the dinner and the champagne. It was the best wedding dinner ever. Those grandmas and sure make some good food. It was way better than any catered food could have been. The cake was a wedding gift from a special friend of my wife's and was an absolute master piece. The dress was made my mother who was an awesome seamstress and the flowers were assembled by my wife and her friend that made the cake. ***** The holiday celebrations were always about making food and bringing food. Family potluck reunions would fill up city parks when my family had one. Sadly now only a handful of the relatives come to the reunions and they are a local restaurant. The younger generation either doesn't live close enough to attend or doesn't have any interest in such family things. Communication now is facebook, twitter, email, or a new thing called snap chat with lots of selfie pictures. ***** Have a great simple celebration day.

6/29/2014 6:38:14 AM
Hi, Erin! Mary from Old Dog New Tricks, here. Great blog! What is funny, Erin, is that is the way I grew up! It was the natural thing that celebrating something meant family and it was natural that the food was home grown and made. It is great that people are taking pride in those things again.

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