1 In preparation for a small dinner I hosted for friends and neighbors, Kevin potted several plants to decorate my home. We went to Surrey Gardens, a full service greenhouse and nursery not too far from Mount Desert Island. They always have such beautiful plants there. http://www.surrygardens.com
2 As many of you know, I am a big fan of begonias - I bought a few for this occasion.
3 This is a Burro's tail cactus, Sedum morganianum. It is a succulent, with sweeping stems and thick, fleshy green to gray-green leaves.
4 Another beautiful begonia in one of several faux bois pots.
5 This is a scented geranium, Pelargonium. There are dozens of scented geraniums with an array of fragrances. What they have in common is that the scent comes from the leaves, not the perfume of the flowers. Scented geraniums have glands at the base of their leaf hairs, where the scent is formed.
6 Here is another pretty begonia.
7 Baby tears, Soleirolia soleirolii, is a mosslike creeping plant with threadlike stems and tiny kidney shaped apple-green leaves. They make very nice houseplants.
8 These Baby tears drape over the sides of the pot as it grows - so pretty along the window.
9 Whenever I go to Maine, I always like to roast turkey, so there is always something readily available for lunchtime sandwiches. It came in very handy while we prepared for the party.
10 A platter of freshly cut avocado and tomato slices for the sandwiches.
12 My housekeeper, Gretchen, does a lot of preserving and she and Cheryl make the best pickles! On the left are their bread and butter pickles, and on the right are their spicy pickles.
13 We all had roasted turkey, bacon, avocado, and mustard sandwiches. These hit the spot - not a crumb was left.
14 Served with the sandwiches was this platter filled with a variety of cheeses.
15 After lunch it was back to dinner party preparations. Lisa Wagner set the table - she chose simple, all natural tones and textures. The table looked so beautiful.
16 We sugar rimmed the glasses for the evening's pre-dinner cocktail - whiskey sours.
17 My whiskey sours are made with Michter's Bourbon, freshly squeezed orange juice and lemon juice, and a fruit wedge. http://www.michters.com
19 These greens are also from Triple Chick Farm - they always have such fresh and delicious produce. I love all the different colored lettuces.
21 The wine we had with dinner was the full bodied Garrus 2012 Cotes de Provences rose. Heralded as the greatest rose in the world, Garrus' limited quantity makes it a highly select wine. http://esclans.com/item/garrus/
22 Jason Schreiber and Thomas prepared the lobsters. They were partially steamed, then split, and then broiled, and finally served with buerre blanc and little diced chili peppers.
23 They were some of the most delicious lobsters, and bought locally from Parsons Lobsters and Seafood Shop in Bar Harbor, Maine. Debbie Parsons cuts and fillets all her fish herself. It's a wonderful family owned and operated business. http://parsons-lobsters.com
24 All these peas were from my garden in Bedford. Heather shelled every single one.
25 We blanched the peas - as always these peas were very sweet.
27 These are pea tendrils from my garden at Skylands - they are the young leaves and shoots of the snow pea plant that taste like a cross between peas and spinach.
28 The homemade ricotta was served with a smooth pea puree and some peas, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a fresh pea tendril.
29 Baby carrots, baby turnips, and young red Tropea onions - we got these beautiful vegetables from the farmer's market here in Bar Harbor.
30 The shape of the cupola di Tropea, onion from Tropea, varies from round to oval to elongated, and so very sweet.
31 This was our pasta dish - pasta bucatini with Bottarga cured pressed tuna roe, golden raisins and bread crumbs. The dish had a north African-southern Italian vibe to it. It was delicious.
32 Jason made the blueberry pies for the dinner party - hard to resist a homemade blueberry pie fresh out of the oven.
33 Baked just right - it was a big hit!
34 This tart was made with Rangpur limes sent to me from Molly Chappellet. These Indian limes look like oranges, and their juice tastes like orange juice. They were great for making this variation on the Key Lime Pie.
35 The dessert tart and pies were cut up into individual pieces and plated for the guests.
36 Each guest was offered the choice of either one piece of Rangpur lime pie or blueberry pie, but they all wanted a piece of each...
37 And, so that's what they got - one piece of Rangpur lime pie and one piece of blueberry pie. It was the right choice, and a most fantastic dinner.