Last year I donated "Lunch in the Garden" to benefit Robinson Gardens, an organization that supports the restoration of an historic home and gardens in our community. A group of women bought it at a silent auction, a date was chosen, and it happened last week. I was very excited because we had been working very hard on the garden to get it looking its very best. I planned the menu and two lovely friends helped me do the cooking.
We set the table, decorating it with flowers and chocolate candies, and welcomed our guests. We walked them outside and amidst happy chatter they sipped chilled glasses of Fresh Peach Bellinis and wandered through the garden.
The weather couldn't have been better, the sun warmed our backs and the green of the leaves was an especially vivid shade. The perfume of the star jasmine wafted through the air. Everyone agreed it was a beautiful day for eating outside.
We sat down on the patio for lunch and toasted the beginning of summer. There was a lot of talk about summer travel plans, good books, new movies, and even blogging! Here is what we served:
Zucchini Soup, Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Roasted Shrimp with Feta, and Eton Mess
After the party was over and everyone was gone, I brought in all the flowers from outside and my kitchen looked festive for days!
As I enjoyed the long lasting beauty of the flowers, I thought about the garden lunch -- it was a wonderful day of being outside, dining alfresco, laughing, talking about many different topics and getting to know a wonderful group of women, who stayed for most of the afternoon!
After thinking about it all, I realized that my favorite thing to donate to a charity event is an experience such as this. I think that the people who purchase it enjoy the event, in this case a lunch, and the person who donates it can have a lot of fun putting it together. Especially if you do it with the help of friends. It gets you into the kitchen, motivates you to work on your garden, and gives you an opportunity to meet some very generous and lovely new friends. Everyone feels good because they all contributed to a worthwhile cause, and had a very good time doing it!