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Summertime Impromptu

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Welcome the warm weather with a party as whimsical as the spirit of summer! Celebrate a birthday, anniversary, new pool, or just have a light-hearted neighborhood get together. This party works best outdoors and at night, when you display strings of glowing white Christmas lights and create a magical atmosphere. Deb’s recipe for Grilled Nectarines completes the scene with a delicious, sweet aroma. So gather your friends and relax in true “que sara sara” summer style— whatever will be will be!

Checklist

  • Two 6-8’ Lifetime Banquet Tables
  • Lifetime folding chairs
  • Two double bed sheets
  • Fabric paint
  • Hurricane glasses
  • Various sea shells, and some sea moss
  • Candles
  • Crayons
  • White china
  • Fish netting
  • Sand dollars
  • Natural looking twine or raffia
  • Sand colored napkins
  • Pearled Nautilus shells
  • Placemats- adhesive Spray, medium grade sand and large cardboard cake rounds
  • Shell topiary- a variety of shells, sea moss, strands of inexpensive pearls (from a bead shop), a Styrofoam cone and a glue gun

Steps 

  1. Purchase (or visit your linen closet) two flat double bed sheets. Lay them out on a work surface to paint.
  2. Paint the sheeting with either brights, pastels or metallic colors. Use your imagination... flowers, leaves, fish, shells or abstract, making sure you are consistent with color as to match it all together later on. (For this table, I would paint fish and shells).
  3. Once the paint is dry and the tables are covered with your new “artwork”, place big glass hurricanes at intervals along the length of the table. Fill with sand and a variety of shells, some sea moss and a fat candle in the middle.
  4. Use pearled Nautilus shells as either additional candle holders or as planters for flowers or tiny plants. Take out the wick from small votive candles, and melt them with a crayon that matches the inside of the shell (pink or orange). Pour into shell and replace wick. Voila! You have beautiful “shell candles” to use both now and later.
  5. Once the paint is dry and the tables are covered with your new “artwork”, place big glass hurricanes at intervals along the length of the table. Fill with sand and a variety of shells, some sea moss and a fat candle in the middle.Placemats- Make the placemats with adhesive Spray, medium grade sand and large cardboard cake rounds. Cover a work table with newspaper. Lay the cardboard cake rounds flat and coat them with Adhesive Spray. Generously pour the sand over the cardboard and let stand for about 5 minutes. Shake off excess sand. Should any spots be missed, simply repeat the process.
  6. Shell topiary- Make a Shell topiary by gluing shells together onto the cylinder Styrofoam shape (you may want to make several for a big party). Lay newspaper over the surface of a table to create a workspace. Start at the bottom of the cone, and begin gluing shells onto the cone with hot glue. Continue gluing, making sure you vary the size, shapes and colors of the shells as you go along. When the cone is completely covered then begin to fill in small spaces with tiny bits of sea moss. Lastly, drape the cone with pearls and place on top of a sand placemat. Decorate around the bottom edge with sea moss and candles.
  7. Finish the table off with white china, sand colored napkins with Florida Round Sand Dollars tied to them with twine (making napkin rings), and fish netting. Make Grilled Nectarines with Blue Cheese and Lavender Honey, the perfect summer night treat.

Tips

  • Use a Lifetime folding table when you make the shell topiary and placemats. All Lifetime tables are so easy to clean, and glue always rubs off their polyethylene tops!
  • Fresh out of sea shells? Order them online at www.seashellcity.com or www.shellhorizons.com
  • To form one long, romantic repast table, place the two tables end to end. For a magical outdoor look, try stringing up white paper Chinese lanterns or Christmas lights. Place them in trees, under patio ceilings, etc. Also string loads of little white lights in trees, on fences, around windows, etc. for beautiful lighting and that fairytale outdoor look.

Recipe: Grilled Nectarines With Blue Cheese and Lavender Honey

Serves 8

  • ½ cup Lavender honey, warmed
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 ripe nectarines, cut in half and pitted
  • ½ to ¾ cups Blue Papillon Cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds, plus 2 T. for garnish
  1. Mix together the honey and vanilla
  2. Brush the honey-vanilla mixture over the cut surfaces of the nectarines.
  3. Grill the nectarines, cut side down, until the edges begin to caramelize. Remove from the grill
  4. Mix together the blue cheese and the toasted almonds.
  5. Stuff the cavities of the nectarines with the blue cheese mixture and place on a sheet pan, cut side facing up.
  6. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes or until the nectarines are heated through and the cheese begins to melt. Drizzle with additional honey, sprinkle with additional almonds and serve warm.

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