I am told the end of summer is officially September 21st. But, sending my kids back to college makes it feel like the end of this glorious season is right NOW. I am sad to see summer come to an end, so this week I am looking back on what a wonderful time it was.
We go to a lot of fun cocktail / hors d’oeuvre gatherings in the summer. My food repertoire is pretty small, so my contribution is usually the hummus and baby carrot plate. Store bought hummus, but recycled into my own dish for authenticity. Lazy, I know…
When the last hostess relegated my dish to the kids’ table, I realized it was time to mix things up.
I have been making guacamole for years, but this summer it became my go-to hors d’oeuvre. Here’s how I make it:
For a cocktail party, I usually buy 5-6 ripe avocados.
I use little, cherry tomatoes. In the summer, there are lots of different varieties that make the guacamole colorful.
One lime. Sometimes two depending on how much I am making, but lime can overwhelm the dish.
My secret ingredient, Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt.
Cilantro. This ingredient is optional. I love Cilantro, but a lot of people don’t. I sprinkle it on top of the guacamole, but you can leave it off too.
Scoop out the ripe avocado flesh with a spoon and pile them all in a big bowl, leaving room to mix everything up.
Get the lime on the avocado right away so the citrus juice keeps it from going brown.
I don’t mash the avocado. Instead, I cut it into little pieces. Keeps it nice and chunky.
Chop up the cherry tomatoes and add them on top of the avocado.
Red onion to taste. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, but it’s a personal preference.
Salt and pepper is next WITH the Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt.
I have my chopped Cilantro as a garnish or I will bring it along in a separate dish if the hostess wants to sprinkle on top.
Mix everything up gently, almost fold the ingredients together. The avocado will break up if mixed too much.
Voila! Keep the guacamole tightly wrapped and refrigerated until you are ready to serve. So far, my new strategy seems to be working.
For real homemade hummus, my friend Susan makes an unbelievable one. I have had the recipe on my refrigerator for 6 years, but have never made it. Shocking. Here is the recipe (above) and it is delicious.
the wry home
The Block Island Historical Society has an annual house tour every summer. My friend Sarah and I go every year and have probably seen over 60 houses on the island. A favorite summer tradition.
Well, my house is on the tour this year. It’s hard to believe they asked me, especially since our cottage is only 1,500 square feet and the tour will be over before it begins! Thankfully there will be lemonade on the deck for all guests when they are done.
I promised myself I wouldn’t go crazy with “fixing” things around the house in anticipation of the house tour. Easier said than done…
I did do a couple of little things around here. Not too much, but the list could go on if I let it. So, here are the tweaks I made in anticipation of the BI house tour:
A new path (thank you Ned Phillips) we actually added last summer. Perfect timing! For 14 years we let our guest wander up and down our grass hill with no lights to guide them. Not the safest. Ned put in this beautiful stone path with solar lights.
A new hammock from Lilly Pulitzer at Target.
Adirondack chairs take a beating here, so I replaced our old ones with these lime green chairs and a Pier One table on sale for $39.99.
I put up a magnetic picture board to match my red hutch in the kitchen. A place to keep our BI memories.
On the left, some remnants found in our wall when we renovated the kitchen. The postmark on the letter is Providence to Block Island, circa 1939.
Target comes to the rescue again. A $129.99 rolling bar cart I can wheel anywhere we are having a party!
We have to maximize all of the space in our house and the upstairs landing is actually big enough for a small sitting area/place to watch movies on an ancient TV. I made a few updates here.
A new roman shade.
New pillows to go with the new roman shade.
I recovered an old ottoman we had with white cotton duck and piped it with leftover red chenille. A striped Jonathan Adler placemat under a Crate and Barrel lamp ties in the blue. I recycled an old blue couch into the upstairs hallway that folds into a double bed for spillover guests. We have to make the most of every square inch!
An old wooden chest that holds all of our DVD’S gets some new knobs.
The refrigerator we inherited with the house froze all of our produce, so I got this one on sale at Home Depot. The old fashioned kind where you can still use magnets!
A painting of our house gets a new frame.
Two new pieces of art for our walls.
My new Dunes and Duchess mirror goes up in our bedroom. Love this shape!
Another old ottoman gets recovered in blue fabric I had at home, piped with white cotton duck.
That’s pretty much it.
If you are around on Tuesday, August 11th from 9:00 – 1:00, I encourage you to go on the Block Island House Tour. There are some beautiful homes to see and it is really FUN.
Sarah and I are primed and ready to go!
the wry home