It was 100F outside, and no, our house does NOT have central air.  So, why NOT “take to the kitchen” and start cooking for a dinner party? 

We were having one couple for dinner. But, you have to understand here, I don’t really cook any more. Oh, I make the standard fare: salads, lots of fish, corn on the cob, various pastas with a variety of sauces…that kind of thing. But I find, these days, I have too much to do to spend quality time in the kitchen.

So, this was going to be fun. Choosing what to make is always a treat. And this time, I knew exactly where to go for ideas: Lindaraxa’s Garden! This is a blog  (not your average blog!) written by a very old and dear friend of mine, Julieta Cadenas. Julieta has an unusual background: she and her family emigrated from Cuba in 1960 and no, she has not returned since.  We met in high school, then we didn’t see or talk to each other for many, many years(wouldn’t you just love to know how many…) and about two years ago we became friends again. What initially drew us together were our Westies! Westie lovers are a tight knit bunch.  My Westie, Sunday, still lives on in spirit, and Julieta’s Westie, Lucy, is very much alive and well and just so adorable. For more on her, go to My Kitchen By The Lake and see some wonderful pictures, along with more great recipes!

So, it was decided. We would have 

Spinach & Cucumber Soup (cold)

The Four Season’s Chicken & Shrimp Curry

Savannah Sponge Cake with Madeira Sauce

First I played around with the table. Here’s the basic place setting:


I put some small remekins, filled with water and a nasturtium flower and leaf, at each place. These could also double as finger bowls! My nice glass bowls are packed (already) so this is what I had available….



Served the cold soup during cocktails, in my Royal Worcester demi-tasse cups:



Our guests, enjoying it all!



Flowers for the table: I used three small terra cotta containers. These are actually French yogurt cups! and are just perfect for flowers. Next time you are in France, be sure to collect some!




All the flowers are from my garden (she says, proudly…)



The cake was out of this world! Fresh peaches were a great addition…

These dessert plates, and the green ones at the top, are from Dieulefit, France, one of the many ceramic “meccas” of southern France. 


Thank you, Julieta, for all your help!