Remember when we used to say “the start of September brings with it the start of school”?
OK, maybe we never actually said that, but Labor Day DID use to be the “official” end of summer, inasmuch as we returned, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, with brand new backpacks and the one outfit you could convince your dad to order you from the L.L.Bean catalog. (Striped leggings and corduroy skirts were–and perhaps still are…–a fashion revolution.)
Now, however, it is my birthday that seems to mark the end of the summer for me…and this year, as it was also the mark of the end of a decade, it seemed only fitting to host an End-of-Summer Sarah-bration. [For which I misspelled my name three times while creating an invitation.]
How so very quickly this summer flew by
And Sarah’s 30 years seem like the blink of an eye
Come celebrate pencils and classes and books
And the fact that this redhead is maintaining her looks (?)
We’ll give you seafood and meat (no promises what type)
Grilled sweet potatoes, because they ARE worth the hype
Please bring a salad, a side, or a snack
Along with some wine or your favorite six pack
Fun will be had, and maybe a cake (?)
We might just find out if The Professor* can bake
Let us know if you’re in for one last summer fete
If you miss it, you’ll be SUPER sad, I bet.
*I put his actual name. Even though my little sister and my aunt do refer to him as “The Professor” in real life.
And you probably ARE sad you missed it. The food was pretty standard: hummus mixed with whole milk yogurt–my trick to make it creamier, more filling, and cost-effective–with local cucumbers and pita bread leftover from dinner out the other night; last-minute chips and Ernie’s Black Bean & Corn Salsa (delicious, but not as good as the original)…
My rediscovered go-to salad-that-pleases-everyone (adapted and adopted from my Aunt Elizabeth), smoked sweet potatoes, and watermelon.
Of course, with The Professor involved, there was plenty of meat. PLENTY of meat.* (At one point I wasn’t sure if he secretly thought I had invited only cavemen–or Paleo-eating Crossfitters–to the party.)
*Not pictured, but there were two types of fish, pork sausage AND loin, flank steak, AND chicken legs.
The only snafu was that I had less local tomatoes than I thought…but it turns out I’m quite creative in my old age, and peaches with basil and pepper are actually crazy good.
Some might say the fact that the Sparkling Lemonade Sangria lasted only thirty minutes after the first two guests arrived (and fifteen minutes into the actual party) another issues, but I found it made for an EXCELLENT start to the evening.
And an excellent end to the evening? A homemade, triple-layer dark chocolate peanut butter frosted cake made by two of my dear friends, commissioned by The Professor.
Delicious. Truly. I scraped the icing and cake off of the serving plate with my fingers. (Evidence of this was found on my dress later that night.)
But better than the cake was the happiness of having so many old(ish), relatively new, and brand new friends with me to celebrate, relax, and just enjoy a Friday night in a backyard in the South before the craziness of this semester can truly take hold.
For which I have a remedy, by the way: