6/29/08

Delegation Means Inexpensive (and Challenge Winner!)


Last week I threw together a quick birthday celebration for my husband. After just returning from vacation, it was a spur-of-the-moment dinner party, and I wanted to keep it simple!


I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe the high prices of groceries these days! So on my shopping trip I weighed in my mind which meat would be inexpensive to feed all 15 of our guests. At Costco, if I were to buy Tri Tip – I’d need 2 packages to feed 15 people. That could cost up to $50! I wandered over to the salmon aisle and grabbed the last 2 packages – a perfect amount for $26.


The only way to stay in my budget for this meal would be to delegate. So I delegated the appetizers, salad and bread to friends. We barbequed our first crop of new and red potatoes from our garden, along with other tasty vegetables, herbs and spices.

My daughter was in charge of making birthday dessert – so she made individual strawberry pies (from our abundant ever-bearing crop) for the adults, and a single pie for all the kids.

With potatoes and veggies from the garden, dessert from the strawberry bed with a dab of whipped cream on top, and salmon for $26 - I figure I spent around $40 for this mouth-watering meal.

Laughter, great conversation (especially centered around my husband’s new Irish Pride birthday shirt!), exceptional food and the perfect weather made for a great evening.

What topped it off was that our kids were be-bopping around, lively and having a great time. You may know us by now – that dinner MUSIC was also a part of the ambience.



But what really made the night special was when our oldest son, recently back from his Mexico Missions trip, said a prayer in honor of his dad’s birthday. You could feel his passion for God, gratefulness for what he has been given, and a true admiration for his father. That was a gift in itself! Our daughter, Abby, learned a Beatles tune per her daddy’s request and surprised him by playing, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, on her violin.


With the power of delegation, homegrown garden produce, great friends invited, and your family gathering around for an evening of celebration – what more do you need?

(Top photo: first potatoes from our garden this year!)

The WINNER to my “What’s Your Challenge GIVEAWAY” is … Bev, from Scratchin’ the Surface! If you’d like to order your own customized apron, email me and I will give you the information. Congratulations, Bev!!

23 comments:

Bev said...

Sandy - I'm squealing with delight - seriously. I could not be more tickled about this - thank you so, so much! I'll wear it with pride and delight. xoxoxo Bev

Nancy said...

I just want to say how much I love your blog! You're really an inspiration to me.

My kids and I have celiac, which is a lot like having food allergies. This makes it difficult for other people who don't know us well to invite us out to eat, or even over for a cup of coffee or a play date. It's not difficult for us, we just bring our own food.

So I'm going to be stepping out of my non-entertainer skin and start inviting people over to our house.

Because of the intricacies of cooking for people with celiac, we can't ask people to bring food that they've prepared in their own kitchen. But I know that people like to be able to contribute. So I've come up with an idea.

Instead of asking people to bring a dish, I'm going to ask people to come a bit early to help out. I can have a few people help in the kitchen, another person can be in charge of music, and someone else can be in charge of getting drinks for people as they arrive.

We're having our first dinner party with just a couple close friends next weekend. One of them is bringing her salsa recipe and the ingredients and will make the salsa when she gets here. It should be a lot of fun.

Thank you so much for writing this blog and helping me step outside my shell. :)

Nancy

laurel said...

That sounds like a wonderful celebration, simple and heartfelt. I think it is great that you delegated some of the food. I used to feel guilty about doing that, but now intentionally ask people to bring something, b/c it seems to make them feel more comfortable to walk in with a dish in their hands and gives them more ownership over the meal. Makes it feel more like communing together rather than entertaining.
I love your blog!

Krysta said...

Good ideas! Our house used to be hang out and party central but because of high food prices, we haven't done anything this summer. Maybe it's time for a good ol' pot luck!

~j~ said...

Congrats Bev, so happy for you for winning Sandys Giveaway!!
This is such a great post Sandy,
Love the low cost meal you put together it looked absolutey deelish! Happy Birthday to your hubby!
love j

~nanashouse~ said...

Yeah Bev, Good going! Wear your apron with
joy :-)

Sue Cramer said...

What a fun party!!! You inspire me once again.
I'll bet he was very blessed, especially with the input of the kids!

Congrats Bev!

Happy Birthday Paul!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your hubs! Sounds like so much fun.

deb meyers

Kim said...

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for inspiring us!! I would love it if you would write more about how you figure out your entertaining budget. You mentioned a little bit about this in your previous post and I'm really interested in ways to stretch the budget for entertaining, especially with the rise in the cost of food.
Thanks!

Rapunzel said...

Ooh, those strawberries look absolutely luscious! The whole menu is making my mouth water. :-)

Becca said...

Mmmmm...lovely photos and great menu. Our strawberry patch is growing well this year. Maybe someday we'll be harvesting like you guys...if we can keep the bugs away!

GiBee said...

Yay, Bev! So happy for you, and sharing in your squealing delight!!

We had grilled Salmon from Costco yesterday too! It was so good.

Fuschia said...

Gracious AND frugal! YOU ROCK!!

Congratulations Bev...dagnabbit ;-)

Susie said...

What a great party lineup! The fresh fruit and veggies look yummy. Having your kids take special roles was such a great idea.

So happy for Bev! She is one of my favorite bloggers out there. As well as you, of course.

Cucina Cara Mia said...

I really enjoy your blog!! I have taken your advice, last night I said to some friends stop by for a drink and I will make a pizza, they said no, we're not hungry, I rolled out the dough, popped it in and of course, they ate the whole thing, even used paper plates. I have always been a reluctant entertainer, but now realize, its the people not how the food or your house looks that ultimately create the good times!

Julie said...

Every time I come here I think of how much I wish I had a garden like yours.... What fun it would be to go and just "clip" food out and bring it to the table. The strawberries look so awesome....

Maybe one day!

Julie

Kirstin said...

How do you do your individual pies?

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

That sounds delicious! I want to know more about that strawberry pie. Yummy.

Good job on your frugal meal, it really looks like you had a wonderful meal!

Happy day, friend!!!

Melissa

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

PS. Happy birthday to Paul!

Melissa

Shellie said...

That is looking so delicious and the Irish Pride shirt and the potatoes kind of went together there!

Sheryl said...

Congratulations to Bev! And your delegation idea is great!

cara v. said...

Sandy,
I was wondering if you can share how you make the individual strawberry pies? My family LOVES strawberries and these look yummy!

Thanks!

KATIE said...

Sandy... that photo of Abby is absolutely beautiful!!! I hope you get a print of that one! how fun!!!
that's so rad that she learned a song just for her pops! :)