3/16/07

Alfresco Dining

My favorite season is in the air, the one where our family will enjoy alfresco dining. We love eating outdoors! There is nothing better than Paul barbequing up a great meal, with the kids often helping, throwing a tablecloth on the patio table and a stunning flower in the center. Simple and beautiful to the eye.

I think back to last summer when I got to meet author Liz Curtis Higgs in Denver. I’ve been a big “Liz Fan” for years! What a joy that was. What a joy she is! I love the way she calls me “Sis.” She makes me feel right at home.

Liz recently sent me her latest book, My Heart’s in the Lowlands, because my husband and I will soon be traveling to Ireland and Wales. What a great book, and a completely different read from Liz.

In Lowlands, Liz talks about her frequent visits to New Galloway, a village in the region of Dumfries and Galloway in southwest Scotland, and how she enjoys a tearoom, “The Smithy,” especially for lunch. She says:

“Flowerpots blooming with bright peonies and pine tables in the front courtyard invite alfresco dining on sunlit summer days.”

I can just feel the summer breeze and warmth of the air.

I can just feel the ambience we will embrace, as our family will soon be enjoying meals outside again.

Last night my husband asked if we could eat dinner outside. We all chimed in, “it’s too cold, Dad!” We’ll take every chance we can to enjoy the spring air. The air brings out the child in all of us. We dance to the music, we get all giddy and silly, and our conversation is lively and meaningful.

Hospitality is so unique. It can happen anywhere, in the Lowlands or in our own backyards. I have found that for me, it has to begin with my own family.

How soon in the spring can you start eating outside?

(Photo above of me and Liz in Denver last summer; Peony from our garden; simple alfresco dining in our backyard!)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

How lovely to mention Liz! And what a beautiful table . ..

Barb said...

Wow, that violet lettering complements her sweater perfectly! She is SUCH a gracious lady and her Lowlands book is a totally joyful, fun read. This post makes me anxious for spring!!! Luv your red-decked table too!

momrn2 said...

This confirms it... we definately speak the same language!

Barbecue's, eating outside, and Liz. Yup... all fav's of mine too! :-)

I so enjoy having other's over in the warmer weather for just that... enjoying a meal together outside.

Barbecuing seems to be a meal most anyone can/ will really enjoy and you're right, there's just something about the atmosphere of the great outdoors!!

In fact, we plan to barbecue tomorrow. We'll see about eating outdoors...

Another thing we really enjoy is a hot dog roast. We have 10 acres and on part of the property is a fire pit. We build a big bonfire, invite others over, and roast our hotdogs and marshmallows.

This is an activity we like to do while there is still a chill in the air so we can pull up around the fire and enjoy!

The fire pit is not anything fancy by any means... but who says entertaining has to be formal and fancy, right?

Some of our best times with friends are around a fire roasting hot dogs. :-)

Sorry, didn't mean to write a novel here... but you obviously sparked something in me. :-)

Sandy said...

MomRN2, I love your novel:) And your hot dog roast sounds like a blast. We, too, have an outside fireplace, but it's not fancy. Mmm, another idea for a post!

And I agree, Barb, "Gracious" totally describes Liz Curtis Higgs! I just love that lady :)

Linda said...

You made me want to read that book, which means I'm putting on a list. The peony is our state flower, and I love them. My favorite is the soft pink. Please continue to post your pictures; the are beautiful ... and you are such a beautiful lady!

Momma Roar said...

They are the feet of my happy 3 month old!!

I love Liz Curtiss Higgs - Her hometown is just next to mine. I can't get the title of the one book about Lititz, but it talked about the Moravian Church - I posted a Moravian Sugar Cake recipe. Check it out! I think it was March 1 or Feb 28.
Have a great weekend!

Bettsi said...

Liz wrote the Bad Girls of the Bible, didn't she? She's awesome. Someday, I'd love to meet Francine Rivers.

Your table looks so pretty, Sandy!

linda t said...

Such a pretty and simple but elegant table Sandy.

The orange blossoms are filling the air with the most glorious scent! Making me want to be in the backyard all day! Yes, perfect weather for ourdoor dining!
And in no time, it will way too hot... so this is our time to really enjoy entertaining outdoors.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I grew up in Southern CA and we could eat outside a lot. I have such fond memories of all of these fun dinners.

Now I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest with my own family and since we are renting an apartment, it is hard to eat outside. But you have inspired me to make more picnics!

Barb said...

This has all got me scoping out our property for spots for a pergola-covered patio and a fashionable firepit. How dreamy would that be?!?!

Kristen said...

I just did a post like this earlier in the week about making mealtime fun for your family. This is great! We love eating outside.

Leigh Ann said...

The table looks beautiful. I love al fresco dining. Here, where there are a lot of bugs, we eat on a screen porch.

I haven't read Liz. I'll add her to my library list.

Cheers! LA

Jungle Mom said...

I saw your comment somewhere else and came over to see for myself. beautiful blog!

annewithane65 (Kim) said...

We have two great areas that we are able to eat out on...a covered porch and a deck. I am really looking forward to being able to spend time on our porch and deck. When we had a warm spell last week I said to my dh that it looks as though we can get the tables and furniture out...he told me it was too soon and that I shouldn't let the weather fool me...he was right because we ended up with a snow storm over the weekend! I guess I'm just anxious!!!

Your table looks just lovely!

Peach said...

Love eating out of doors. Hopefully can do that soon, once we have outdoor furniture.

Love Liz, too!! So fortunate for you to have gotten to meet her.

Her books have touched my heart over and over. I aspire to write like her someday . . . when I grow up!

GiBee said...

Love Liz!! Lucky you for having got to meet her!