Sunday, August 7, 2011

Farm to Table for Mom & Friends

I have been flirting with the idea of doing farmers market tours and then a brunch, with cooking classes.  My own version of a farm to table.  For a reasonable fee, for groups in Corona del Mar or San Diego.  There is a lot of interest in the idea, but I thought I should test it out first for a group of ladies and see how it goes.  Who better than my Mom and her group of girlfriends?  We all know each other and they would give me honest feedback.  Today was the appointed day for our brunch; it’s always a pleasure to welcome these ladies to the house.  It was spitting rain in the morning, all over my fully-set tables, thank you Mother Nature.  But I took advantage of the cool weather to dress up the entry arch again, this time in various greens from the garden, including pittosporum, Indian Hawthorne, South African Boxwood, “the pom pom tree,” and trails of Boston Ivy~



I added morning glory vines right before the punctual guests arrived~


The morning glories lasted the morning and that was all I asked of them; they were a happy welcome to our friends~


The next welcome was the bar; Monique enjoyed the tour and settled on a glass of strawberry-mint water to start~


I set the flavored waters out punch-bowl-style in a large fruit bowl with a long French silver ladle; fine ribbons of orange peel replaced the chunky version from the market, here with mint~


Strawberry-Lemon Verbena was also on offer, in an early American footed compote with French cherry spoon for ladle; it was fun, very fresh, and we went through two rounds of this one~


After I had zested the oranges for the water, the citrus got juiced for mimosas; valencia orange, as well as blood orange in another decanter, and peach puree that looked like baby food but was excellent in the champagne and almost gone by end of the morning.  Peaches, strawberries & citrus all from the Corona del Mar market, herbs from my garden~


I set the tables with linen cloths from our Metis line; topped with a runner of washed burlap from Dad’s party a few weeks ago; these are half width’s with one edge folded over; you will see more of this soon in a magazine!  I used my prettiest plates today, here the cabbage rose~


the second table was set with cobalt blue plates; the service table behind was dressed later~


Flowers from Hector at the Corona del Mar market; spray roses, tuberose and cock’s comb were very fragrant, colorful, and loved by the guests~


For the food, we started with brioche loaf from Loic at the Rancho Santa Fe market; I bought it last Sunday, sliced and froze it; today it was perfect~


Kerry turned it into Cinnamon-laced French toast with eggs from Don, Corona del Mar market~


Don’s blackberries, boysenberries and blueberries went into home-made syrups that were yummy~


Eggs benedict came next, with Don’s eggs, bacon from DaLe Ranch and Julia Child’s Hollandaise sauce; I taught the ladies how to make the sauce; you can see the recipe HERE~


As we finished brunch, the dishwashers were let loose; mind you, they never do this with me, but Honey knows how to con guests into getting up on their laps, and she knows Della loves her~

IMG_8558Biscuit was next, on Monque’s lap; are my dogs con artists?  I know….it’s kinda sick, but it was a party for all, and not a drop of egg yolks or Hollandaise sauce went to waste~


After brunch, we took the dogs for a luxurious walk along the beach and then came home to make chocolate tarts with shortbread crust and salmon en croute.  Recipes to follow this week.  As opposed to my eat and run family, my Mom’s friends love to enjoy the meal and the day.  They left at 5pm, after a wonderful day.  Sorry to see them go, but we will do it again soon.  Mom and I sat for awhile enjoying the flowers & the fragrance.  Why go to a florist or the LA Mart when you can get this, locally grown~


And after giving the bedding plants a spritz, I sat down to enjoy the view and the tables; yes, let’s do this again soon!



  1. This is a fabulous idea! Who wouldn't want to partake of such a glorious day? Sounds divine to me. I made orange mint water this weekend (because of you) and liked it the second day even more :)

  2. Boy you had me drooling over the beautiful flowers, the lovely setting, the food - till the picture of the dog licking the plate. Yuck!
    I'm a fan of "Lucy" from "Peanuts" who says, "Lips that kiss dog lips will never kiss mine!" titter, titter, giggle, giggle

  3. Andrea, what a fabulous day you all had! Just beautiful photos!!

  4. You create the prettiest parties at your home. Everything is just beautiful. And now I'm hungry!

  5. You have perfected the art of entertaining dear friend! Everything is just lovely and so yummy.


  6. The flowers are so beautiful and what a delightful event. The farmers market tours and cooking classes sounds like fun and inviting. Wish they were held in Northern California.

    Sheila in S.F.

  7. Andrea, finally catching up with this weeks posts!! What a most gorgeous Old World setting you have! The tables and flowers are glorious.

    Your Mother and her friends must be so grateful for your efforts and special touches!


    Art by Karena