Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorable Memorial Day Birthday Barbecue

First things first...We are truly blessed to have the means to set a pretty table and invite our friends to join us for good food and fellowship. I am mindful that many are not so fortunate. My daughter has a passion for the work of the Food Bank. As a singer-songwriter, she has written and recorded a song that is the anthem for the world wide Crop Hunger Walk project. Her song, "Raise Your Voice" is featured in their video. I've included a link in the side margin of my blog. I hope that it will encourage you to support projects in your community that contribute to the effort to overcome hunger.

Sweet Mister shares his Memorial Day birthday with our wonderful son and with our loyal Yorkshire Terrorist.  WS couldn't be here, but I understand that my daughter-in-love threw him a neat party.  I ask SM if he would like to have a few friends over to celebrate his birthday and the holiday at our house.  When he handed me the list of friends that he had invited, it was comprised of more than 50 guests....a few friends...well, you'd have to know him.  He wanted to have barbecue catered, which worked great for me.  I determined that I would set up the majority of tables on our back porch with a couple of additional tables inside.  It was supposed to be a windy and hot day, but the sweet Lord blessed us with just enough wind to provide a lovely, comfortable afternoon and evening for our festivities.

Lots of men on the guest list equals Lots. Of. Meat.  Smoked turkey and brisket were served on our old Dansk teak platters. In our neck of the woods, barbecue is always served with plain sliced bread.  I've presented the bread in an antique dough bowl.  The pair of patriotic Uncle Sam's are actually Santa Claus dolls that I've had for maybe 30 years.  The tureen and underplate in the center of the table are Burleigh Ware, "Calico."  I bought them during the last hour of an estate sale for $35.00 for both.  Woohoo!  Instead of flowers, I filled two blue crockery bowls with red apples...simple centerpiece solution.

All the usual suspects that you would always expect to see at a barbecue...The coleslaw and a green salad are served in more old, huge Dansk teak salad bowls.  The baked beans are found in a large Heller serving bowl.  Do any of you have Heller dishes?  I have tons of them from a former lake house.  They are a heavy melamine type material.  The potato salad is presented in a generously sized Pampered Chef crockery bowl.

Just for the birthday boy, a double chocolate fudge cake and a coconut cake were embellished with fresh raspberries.  Other desserts included German Chocolate brownies, lemon squares, and peach cobbler.  You won't see me do it very often, but for today, I decided that disposable clear plastic plates for dessert were the perfect choice.  I liked that the red and white gingham checked tablecloth, that I made many years ago, added a touch of holiday flair to the tablescape.

Sweet Mister wanted me to use unbreakable dinnerware.  I selected the Pottery Barn Outdoor Collection Enamelware,  dinner plates.  The flatware forks are L'Argent "Sophia."  Because we were serving barbecue, I provided paper napkins for our guests...another something that you will rarely see me do.  For barbecue, I always try to have at least three napkins per guest.

Five tables awaited our guests on the back porch.  Each was draped in a white or light blue tablecloth...
...and anchored with the blue and white jardiniers in which I plant geraniums each summer.  The pots are flanked by a pair of "frog jars" filled with sunflowers, hypericum berries, and assorted fresh flowers from Homeland Grocery Store.  I bought several inexpensive bouquets and deconstructed them for my floral decoration.

An easy-going touch...just right for a man's birthday party.

The Caspari rattan chargers also added an organic texture that sings of summer and barbecue.

I set two tables inside the house.  In the living room, I used the blue and white stripe tablecloth that I made using Sunbrella  fabric...

And in the breakfast room, I used a blue and white gingham tablecloth that I also made...

Both of the indoor tables were set with dark brown rattan chargers from WalMart.

Our Memorial Day was definitely memorable!  Sweet Mister gathered all of our guests to pray for our soldiers, living and departed, before we began our meal.  It was not lost on me that thousands upon thousands of our young men and women sacrificed their own comfort and safety yesterday to insure us a safe environment in which we could spend our afternoon and evening celebrating my love's birthday. I am humbled and grateful for their courage and bravery.

Thank you, yet again, to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for hosting her magical meme, "Tablescape Thursday.  I'll be linking my post to "Tablescape Thursday."   Hop on over HERE and check out the myriad of marvelous tablescape designs, after 9:00 pm on Wednesdays.  You'll be glad that you made the trip...it's a wonderful adventure.

You can check out KC's music at www.kcclifford.com, on iTunes, and on YouTube.  I hope that you'll take a few minutes and give her a listen.  You'll also enjoy reading back through her blog on this site.  The girl can really write!  Her latest CD is called "Orchid."  It is available on iTunes or through her website.  I hope that you'll give her music a chance.  I know that I have zero objectivity where she is concerned, but I think that you'll fall in love with her music and her!   

Entertaining Women
Entertaining Women

Hello, I'm Cherry Kay I was 40 before I realized that I am an artist. I love to paint, work in clay, rubber stamping, design tablescapes, entertain, and share ideas. I'm an interior designer wanna-be...no credentials, but lots of experience.


  1. Sounds (and looks) like a wonderful day! I love the rattan chargers and your centerpieces...well, actually, everything looks wonderful :O)

    Thanks for visiting us today! Hope you have a fabulous week.


  2. Looks like it was a wonderful party -- your tables are all great and the food makes me hungry -- even at 5:30 in the morning!

  3. It looks like a wonderful party--the food, the tables, and the friends gathered which aren't pictured, but I know they were the most important part! And the prayer ... remembering why we celebrate.

  4. I love how every piece is orchestrated to perfection. No guest would be left out of the "good" table. Love the metal plates, need to invest in some of those. the food looks scrumptious.. did you bake all those goodies? Oh my. A wonderful tribute to the men and women who face courage so that we may barbeque! Many Blessings.

  5. What a feast! So beautiful, Cherry Kay! I love the set up and the food looks so scrumptious. Happy belated birthday to all the celebrants!..Christine

  6. Wow, that is some birthday feast! Your tables are lovely with the rattan chargers.

  7. Hi there,
    Mister's birthday party looked wonderful! Your cakes look scrumptious and love the flowers in the jars. Flags add the perfect touch for a Memorial Day event. I can tell you love to entertain and do it beautifully! I look forward to reading more of your posts. Have a happy day! xoxo Kim

  8. Hi lovely lady.
    Looks like this birthday was a big hit !!! you did a great job putting it altogether sweet lady. I also can tell you enjoy entertaing lots of your family and friends ~~~ I hope you have a Great Day.
    Happy Birthday Mister !!!
    XXOO Diane

  9. This is just the most wonderful Southern spread! I pray/hope a happy birthday was had by all!!! Wow! That was quite a few folks to feed!!!!!

  10. Wow! You had 50 chargers! Amazing! Even The Tablescaper doesn't have 50 matching or nearly matching chargers! :). The tables all look wonderful! I had some of the Pb enamel ware but I returned it as I was afraid you couldn't cut meat on it... Can you without scratching it?
    The food looks good too, bet it was a great party! Happy Bday to your SM! I have a WS too! :)

  11. Hi Cherry Kay,

    Happy Birthday to your Sweet Mister! I have to say that looking at this post really made me hungry. Yum:) I love your Calico soup tureen and underplate, and really LOVE all the cheerful flower arrangements. I'm so glad to see so many families remembering our brave men and women in the armed services. They sacrifice so much that we might enjoy the good things in life. Thanks for sharing.



  12. Everything looks lovely. Those rattan chargers are really nice. Happy birthday to your mister :)

  13. Happy Birthday to your Honey and Son! And what a beautiful Memorial Day tribute to all who sacrificed for us. Your tables and details are outstanding! I LOVE your Burleigh Ware, "Calico" tureen(It's GORGEOUS!!!). WOW I am SO impressed you have a serving for 50 of those beautiful chargers and the metalware plates would be perfect on them... We never use paper plates for picnics. YUK! For family we use CORELLE. It's light durable and SO EASY to clean up with. I am so happy you shared this special day with us!
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  14. What a great party that must have been! Your menu took me back to such parties in the homes of the generous Oklahomans that took us into their hearts during our time in your city.
    Celebrating the birthday of a beloved husband - well, it just doesn't get much better than that!

  15. How LOVELY this all looks! Oh, it makes me long for a useable backyard again. We're getting there (tornado clean-up), but it will take a long time before it looks as charming as your setting. I LOVE those L'Argent forks. Fabulous!

    Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. Yes, it's hard to get great sea gear when living in a landlocked State. I'm still brainstorming and will come up with something suitable eventually.

  16. I've seen those same chargers...love them. Your flowers are so bright and cheerful. What a nice birthday!


    p/s LOVED your daughters music!

  17. What a beautiful party.....and happy birthday to Sweet Mister. All of the food looks delicious and those cakes look scrumptious! I just love the charges...I will have to take another trip to Walmart to see if I can get some. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely Memorial Day Birthday with us.
    Marianne :)

  18. What a nice birthday celebration!! Love all the tablesetttings and the flowers are so cute in the mason jars! What a spread you put out...looks delicious! Hope you enjoy your new hydrangea! Mine are in full bloom and I enjoy them so much!

    Miss Bloomers

  19. i agree with martha. i'm hungry now. (that. and i'm never letting one of my family members see how well you throw a bday party for YOUR family members... ;) HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL!

  20. AHA!!! perfect timing! We are hosting a Memorial Day bar-b-q on Sunday. Lots of red/white/blue going on around here. Napkins, check...red melamine plates, check....red plastic cups, check....blush, silver plastic silverware...sorry, lots of littles and I don't take chances with good silver going into the trashbag!
    Thank you for some great ideas!!

  21. Guess what I found yesterday at our Goodwill-buy-the-pound store? A set of 36 bright red melamine cafeteria trays for $2.00 (anything that is a "set" or heavier than 4 lbs is a flat $2 fee)! I couldn't get them in my cart fast enough.

    I am now planning a summer picnic. Because the trays are rectangle, there's plenty of room for an old-fashioned hot-weather meal of foot-long hot dogs, several salads, and some cherry pie! I made cute white & red polka dot napkins a few years ago and pair them with a red & white gingham check, just like the one you've used here. Now to figure out which cups to use...


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