Dinner Party No. 2: Golden Vineyard

We're going, somewhere where the sun is shining bright
Just close your eyes, and let's pretend we're dancing in the street
In Barcelona

- Ed Sheeran "Barcelona"
While I recently exposed the fact that part of my reason for challenging myself to host six dinner parties in one year was to deepen and create friendships, that wasn't the whole scoop. I also wanted to host six dinner parties in one year because I think it's a shame that people get a pile of friends together for dinner and don't go through the (minimal) extra effort to make it an official dinner party. Julia Child held that a party without cake was just a meeting, but I say that any meeting with friends + food is a dinner party. Right? Please agree with me because maybe it's just me and I slap labels on things way too quickly. The theme for this second dinner party began with an antique French circus inspiration which rapidly changed into a sort of golden-hour vineyard fete when I realized A) I didn't have time to create the proper French circus feel B) I wanted a vineyard vibe.

I trekked to the farmers' market in Williamsburg early Saturday morning to grab some fresh produce - blueberries, raspberries which smelled like jam from clear across the plaza, lettuces, bleu cheese, etc. One thing I love about summertime is the game played by going to a farmers' market. You never can be sure what they'll have and whether or not your list must be changed last second to substitute or add the things you do find! Several items that almost made the cut were the zany-looking lion's mane mushrooms and French breakfast radishes which might as well have stepped out of a Beatrix Potter sketch.  I'm a sucker for that sort of unusual produce; the only reason I will drive over an hour to visit this market rather than the one fifteen minutes from home. When we got home it was straight into the kitchen for me which became my happy place as I prepped a load of sweet and savoury toppings for the liege waffles we were shortly to consume. Since this party happened on half a week's notice, we kept things simple: sweet waffles, savory waffles, grilled peaches and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Hibiscus tea and lemon-mint water to drink.

Three fantastic girls came to round out a party of seven, which included four of my family. They brought flowers and watched me press waffles in my poor, over-worked waffle iron. We carted the food out to our baby orchard and the rare sort of cool June evening which sometimes deigns to descend on Virginians once in a blue moon. We ate, drank, and made merry. And when it was all finished and we'd had our fill of the strangely compatible sweet and savory waffles, we came inside and swapped awkward-stage photos off Facebook and ate summer peaches like we'd never heard of winter. As far as supreme evenings go...this one was pretty dang fine.

Mamacita, rica, feel that summer breeze in Barcelona
Los otros, viva la vida, siempre vida Barcelona
-Ed Sheeran "Barcelona"

Well get up up on the dancefloor, move, it's a Saturday night
I fell in love with the sparkle in the moonlight
Reflected in your beautiful eyes, I guess that is destiny doing it right

- Ed Sheeran "Barcelona"

I'll do a sweet & savory waffle round up soon if anyone is interested in knowing exactly what we ended up topping our waffles with! I'd been thinking of a dinner party themed around liege waffles for so long that when we finally sat down to eat and I took the first bite, it felt like the fulfillment of a long-held dream. For this waffle we had planned and prayed. Yes, I'm a drama queen. Sue me. But the flavors speak for themselves! Two dinner parties down, four to go. I love having friends.

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