I love special occasions: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, parties. You name it, I love them all. The food, festivities, well wishes, laughter and overall happy moods are delightful. They leave me with a euphoric feeling that lasts for days and days. Sometimes, it never goes away.
Mother’s Day was one of those special occasions that I look forward to the most. All that changed when my mother died March 2009. Mother’s Day became a day of grieving. It was the hardest day for me to get through, much harder than her birthday or the anniversary of her death. My joyful anticipation of Mother’s Day turned into dreaded darkness. I missed my mother and just didn’t seem able to manage the awful sadness on Mother’s Day.
Out of sheer determination, I was going to make Mother’s Day 2012 happy again. So, amid the sweet fragrance of lavender and gardenias along with the birds and butterflies, we had a party in our backyard. Not just any party. We had a live band. Not just any band. It was a jazz trio that included our son playing bass.
Along with the fragrant flowers, butterflies, birds and jazz, we had lots of people. Some of those people were my children…….
Some of those people were friends.
One of those people was my husband.
The scene was perfect. People enjoyed the music and each other. A nice breeze kept us from burning slap up until the sun went behind the house leaving our backyard completely shaded.
I wasn’t sad.
The party was meant to be a celebration of Mother’s Day. I asked the band to select a piece that we could dedicate to mothers. The mothers were asked to stand be recognized and the band played the dedication song immediately following. They chose “My Girl” and played it beautifully. It was my intention to literally put my heart and soul into to making this a great and special occasion for everyone who attended. A little piece of my heart went into the Mother’s Day story I wrote and handed out to the mothers. The story was printed out on pretty linen paper which is perfect for Moms. You can read that story by clicking here but you won’t see the pretty paper. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
Y’all come see us!
All images above are courtesy of Amy Garvin Wren. Yes, she is my daughter. No, I didn’t make her snap all the photos. She volunteered. I’m glad because she did an outstanding job!
The concert was from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, the perfect time to enjoy your dinner and listen to a great jazz band. Everyone brought their own food and drink. My job was to feed and water my husband, the band and myself.
For picnics, fried chicken is a favorite entree. But, don’t forget about roasted chicken. It has everything that fried chicken has and it’s much easier to make. Well….it doesn’t have the that great crispy crunchy skin, but, it’s so much easier to make than fried chicken. It really is tasty and can be enjoy hot, cold or at room temperature. We love dark meat in our house so I roast the leg and thigh pieces that have the skin and are bone-in. Simply rub them with olive, sprinkle on your favorite seasonings (the sky’s the limit) and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees for about one hour or until the internal temperature of the thigh is 165 degrees.
A great alternative to a mayonnaise based potato salad is my recipe for Parsley and Chive potatoes. The potatoes can be roasted or boiled. With our high outside temperatures, you need to be careful about mayonnaise based dishes.
All of my menu choices can be made ahead and enjoyed at room temperature. I did keep the tomatoes and cucumbers in a cooler until we were ready to eat.
Roasted chicken quarters (see about for instructions)