Ah, April. After a long winter, this month holds the promise of warmer days spent outdoors with friends and family with chirping birds setting the soundtrack for spring.
As the flowers begin to peek out from their winter slumber, this is the time of year that has me yearning for fresh seasonal fare and refreshing cocktails shared over laughs and love. And not only is it a great time to plan a party alfresco; with Earth Day on April 22, it is also the perfect time to connect with Mother Earth and plan the perfect eco-friendly garden party.
So, get ready to send out your e-vite (save that beautiful hand-lettered paper invitation for another time) and start putting together a delectable seasonal menu that showcases our local bounty. Plus, if you plan the date for your spring soiree in May, you can source the majority of your menu from the best farmers market in Denver area right here in Parker. We may be slightly biased with our affinity for the Parker Farmers Market, but the recurring “Best Of” awards the market has received from Denver A-List speak for themselves.
The best thing about a garden party is that minimal decorations are needed. Use your garden, backyard or favorite outdoor space as the backdrop, and find items you already have to spruce up the table.
Mirrors used as trays can add a touch of elegance to your table setting and are versatile enough to reuse in your home. My favorite vintage mirrors were found at a local antique store, which is the perfect place to implement the “reuse” in reduce, reuse, recycle.
If you truly insist on easy cleanup, many local stores now carry compostable paper products made from recyclable materials; however, we lean toward reusable, washable serve ware. You can find stylish options for outdoor dining in melamine which doesn’t break and can be used for years to come at places like HomeGoods and even your local grocery store.
Growing up, cloth napkins were reserved for holidays and special occasions. But celebrating spring is as special of an occasion as any, so break out those cloth napkins. Not only will you have one less thing to throw away, but your guests will also feel extra special. Finally, fresh leaves, flowers and greenery from your own garden are the perfect centerpieces, and you can’t get more local than right outside your back door.
Keep the food simple. A green salad with bright ingredients, in-season veggies and crusty bread add the perfect accompaniments to a light entree that will be as refreshing as the spring weather. Your guests will have room for dessert, too.
You can change the color scheme or theme throughout the spring and summer season with flowers or plants while using many of the same neutral decorative items. Staying on theme, open a bottle of your favorite wine from one of Parker’s local winemakers and let the garden party season begin.
Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs
Add a pop of color to your menu with this pretty, earthy and delicious twist on a classic dish.
1 cup apple cider vinegar, plus 3 tablespoons, divided
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a pinch, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch, divided
1 small red beet, peeled and halved
12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, tarragon or chives, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Small jar of anchovies
In a medium pot, mix 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 cups water. Add the beet and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a large heat-safe jar or bowl (including beet). Add eggs, stir and refrigerate at least 3 hours (stirring occasionally) or overnight for a darker shade of pink.
Remove eggs from liquid. Halve eggs (reserving the whites) and gently transfer the yolks to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, mayonnaise, herbs and anchovy paste to the yolks. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then spoon or pipe the filling into the egg whites.
Sprinkle with additional herbs, if desired, and top with halved anchovies. Serve.
Planning a party for more than a few people? Reach out to WildWood Event Design for full-service customized event planning. WildwoodEventDesign.com