Went to a Garden Party . . .

Here’s a July bookmark for your cookbooks or your beach reads…click on it, and you’ll get it on a PDF that you can print out on card stock.  Happy July!  And speaking of ambrosia under a tree . . .

I think you can revise that quote to say, “Bread and butter is ambrosia eaten under twinkle lights.” Twinkle lights in the garden are probably more important than the food! A little magic is a good thing!  This was last night, we had a 4th of July party in the backyard.

The menu was basic and all American; steak and salmon from the grill and my favorite Spareribs and Juice (pineapple juice! …make ahead and delicious, p. 101 Vineyard Seasons); that sparerib juice went so well cuddled next to the cold rice salad I already told you about (scroll down if you want that recipe); we had a huge green salad from the garden with orange balsamic dressing; and then, the coup de grace, my dad’s garlic bread (he melts butter and throws in lots of thinly sliced garlic — not minced or crushed, heaven forbid, that would break his garlic bread rules — he brushes it on slices of French bread, making sure to get garlic on each piece and broils it until brown and toasty, just on the buttered side–piles it in a basket lined with a dish towel which he wraps around the bread to keep it warm). For dessert we had raspberries, strawberries and blueberries in lots of syrup with whipped cream; all red, white, and blue… under the twinkle lights and the stars . . . normal food, but ambrosia under a tree, under the twinkle lights. Where’s a better place for a picnic than your own back yard…no crowds, no traffic, laughing til midnight, and bed right at the top of the stairs.  Sing with me: But uh-oh, those summer nights, uh-wella-wella-huh! Tell me more, tell me more, like does he have a car . . .


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51 Responses to Went to a Garden Party . . .

  1. Gert says:

    Oh my gosh…first before I get too carried away.. thank you so much for the lovely bookmark! I shall print one for me & then some to share with my friends! (you are so thoughtful!) Now I can waddle in ooh’s & ahh’s about your cookout last night! What an amazing time you must of had!! How nice that you opened your door for us to share in this fun time with you virtually. Have a blessed weekend!!

    xoxo Gert

    • sbranch says:

      The real trick is in those twinkle lights! Glad you like the bookmark … love the fact that I can just do this! Happy 4th!

  2. Sharon Calvert says:

    LOVE it! Thanks for sharing, and Happy 4th….

  3. Jeanette says:

    What a magical scene and beautiful photo to capture a lovely evening. The twinkle lights look like dozens of fireflies fluttering about the arbor! Looks like a wonderful time was had by all and a delicious one too. I’ve got to try the garlic bread with slivers, mmmmm….

    • Paula B. says:

      I think Jeanette has said it very well except for one thing: we all wish we had been invited! Twinkle lights! Happy Fourth!

  4. Pom Pom says:

    Yes, I will dig out the twinkle lights and add some bunting for our Fourth of July activities! Your party sounds awesome! The menu! Perfect! Thank you for the book mark!

  5. Dana B says:

    Thank you for the gift of you! Your pictures, words, and beautiful spirit are so encouraging to me….helps me be a better wife, Mom, daughter, sister and friend.:) As I begin to get my 3 daughters ready to go out and watch our small town July 4th Parade, the picture of your Garden Party inspires me. We can make this and everyday a special one, right in our own backyard. It’s all in the special little details. Blessings to you and yours!

  6. Nellie says:

    What an amazing evening! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Susan! I will truly enjoy the bookmark. Now – to create my own backyard “oasis.” That will be my next project. How I would love to be on the island on the 4th! Enjoy! xoxo

  7. Karen C says:

    This keeps coming to my mind:

    “I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends,
    A chance to share old memories and play our songs again.
    When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name.
    No one recognized me, I didn’t look the same.

    But it’s alright now……”

    Oh what magic! Thanks for sharing! You’re the best!
    I must ask, did you have any music at your garden party?

  8. Diane Pino says:

    ~sigh~ Perfect, just perfect!
    A magical setting for wonderful conversation and yummy food ~
    as always, you are an *inspiration*!! Thank you for all you share!

  9. Gert says:

    Susan.. I just printed the bookmarks, they are adoreable..and can’t wait to share them with my friends and family!!! You are just so thoughtful! And “love…love…loved” the music you played at your party last night. Your music is the BEST!!

    xoxo Gert

    • Janis Barber says:

      Something you might like to add to your July bookmarks…cut a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper the same size as your bookmark and glue the two together with a pretty little piece of ribbon sticking out the top. I did it last year’s summer bookmark and they turned out so cute. You could even use fabric.

  10. Judith B. says:

    As others have said, “thank you” for the bookmark and for your menu (special thanks to your Dad for the garlic bread recipe) and twinkling lights photo – lights make any event magical. Just strung some lights on my new patio; think I need to go back to the store for more! Happy 4th to all – God Bless America!!

  11. dawn says:

    Pure magic!

    And now I am craving garlic bread…..
    But Ramon is coming back from a business trip tonight, so maybe I should skip it. 🙂

    Happy July to you and Joe!!

    xoxo Dawn

    • sbranch says:

      Toast and extra crunchy peanut butter is almost the same thing, but no “residuals” — 🙂

  12. Sheryl says:

    Susan, Susan, Susan,
    You truly get better and better with each passing day. I put you in the same category as Oprah…you inspire people to be better and live life to its fullest. I must be in your top 1000 fans. I knew you when…I mean when you were first starting to write your cookbooks…I picked them up one by one and the same goes for your other books. Also, the bookmark is precious…thank you for your genorosity.
    Your Northern California friend,

  13. Lori says:

    Your celebration looks and sounds wonderful! The enchanting lights remind me of the garden party in Because of Winn-Dixie. (A great movie.) Happy 4th of July!

  14. Laura Jenkins says:

    Loved the post! You created such a lovely atmosphere…satellite view over Earth will now show bits of twinkle light covered arbors everywhere! 😉 Guess what? Hubs is off to the grocery store for provisions to recreate your menu… we will think of you tonight! xo Happy Independence Day to you and your dear Joe!

  15. deezie says:

    Oh my Gosh!!! how enchanting is that picture! looks so magical. We have a gazebo out in our back yard that I am putting twinkle lights on this weekend now that I have seen that. Love it all
    thanks for the bookmark

  16. {oc cottage} says:

    Holy cats does that ever sound…and look like a perfect evening! Thx for sharing & inspiring us with your celebration!


    m ^..^

  17. The garden party sounds wonderful. I LOVE garlic bread, too 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a Happy 4th of July weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. mari says:

    More magic – I will fashion your bookmark to go into your Summer book for my mom for her July birthday. She’ll be 84 July 28, and she loves your work. (I try to make sure she has a plentiful supply! 🙂 )
    Happy Independence Day to you and Joe and the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard!!!


  19. donna marie says:

    Oh Susan! You bring such joy to my heart! Thank you for the bookmark, the blog, the recipes and for just plain being YOU! Wishing you and Joe a Happy 4th! =]

  20. Ruth says:

    So glad you’re blogging. You’re a favorite in my home. I always recieve one of your calendars as a birthday gift from a dear friend who knows that I need my Susan Branch fix daily. The calendar goes into my office, so I am reminded daily of each season and your delightful collection of words, dates to celebrate and of course the charming art work. Thanks for being you!

  21. Karen P says:

    Love it! The twinkle lights DO make the whole scene magical and I’m sure it feels that way sitting under them! Happy 4th of July. Thanks, too, for the bookmark (will use it during my July birthday reading!) The food sounds great. I just made your Bourbon Chicken recipe. I must say, I could have eaten the whole pan of sauce alone…it was THAT good!

  22. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Loved the party pictures–what a perfect setting! I need to try something like that on our deck except with all the rain we’ve had, the mosquitos are bad at night right now…I have Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party” song in my head now, too! 🙂 The garlic bread sounds wonderful–will try making it that way for our dinner on the 4th! Have you or Joe tried the recipe for grilled ribs that uses a can of Dr. Pepper in the barbeque sauce? I’m thinking of trying that sometime this summer…

  23. bj says:

    Such a magical time was had by all, I am sure.
    Just beautiful..the lights..the flag.
    Thanks so much for the bookmark. I will use it on my blog with link right back to YOUR blog. I love spreading the word about your lovely spot here.
    Thank you!
    xo bj

  24. Amanda says:

    Happy Independence Day, Susan! Thanks so much for the lovely bookmark. I love getting those 🙂 Thanks for letting us share your wonderful party. If only I had a friend like you! You’re so creative. It was just beautiful.

  25. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Twinkling lights on the arbor ARE magical. Makes it a real celebration. If I had an arbor (maybe should build one) I would string lights all over it. Just have some on the house around patio.
    You are doing a wonderful job on your blog. So fun and inspirational. Thank you!
    Also, thank you for the cute bookmark. I’m going to use it in my Summer book.

  26. Barb says:

    What a wonderful evening you created for your friends. Like you, I enjoy “doing for others” … it is what makes me the happiest. I LOVE your new blog … I smile every time I hear from you. Don’t get me wrong, Willard was great … but the blog is like a daily dose of Susan. 🙂 My best bud “Peg” and I met you at a little shop in Barrington several years ago, and it is still one of our favorite “girlfriend” memories. Happy 4th from Illinois.

  27. Cheryl says:

    So lovely! Love the twinkle lights! Thank you for inviting us in to your magical enchantment! I just love your blog, your style, art, food, and oh… just everything!

    We are getting ready for our annual 4th of July BBQ tomorrow and I have star-shaped lights in our trees outside. The gardens are all abloom, the firepits and grills are ready to go; but oh, how I wish for some warm summer nights up here in the great Northwest :-).

  28. Pat says:

    It all looks so magical to me! Happy 4th of July! Thank you for the pretty bookmark 🙂

  29. Donna Szybowicz says:

    Susan I love the twinkle lights. I’m going to try that today. My anniversary is tomorrow the 4th. (24 years) We sit outside and watch all the fireworks. I think the twinkle lights will be a perfect addition.

  30. Veronica says:

    Hello Susan,
    I finally made the cooking pst with your graphics.
    You can see it here: http://dolcifusa.blogspot.com/2011/07/may-cooking.html
    Thank you again for letteing me using it.

  31. Marilyn says:

    Oh, what a lovely picture! It just oozes warmth and hospitality. I agree with what you said about twinkle lights. They add just the right touch of magic.

    Thank you so much for the cute bookmark. It will be used often.

    Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!!!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  32. Claire Hardy says:

    Love that pergola!!!! Do you have directions to build it??? Can you tell me how to build it?? Thank you!!!!! Claire Hardy

  33. Gumbo Lily says:

    Another fun post that inspires us to make simple gatherings special gatherings.


  34. Betty says:

    Hello there Susan!
    What a magical setting to enjoy delicious food with friends!
    You’ve given me an idea for my pergola covered patio for next summer.
    It’s very chilly here right now, but we are in the middle of winter.
    Thank you for the lovely bookmark. I will include it with my July girl-friends’ birthday cards. 🙂

  35. Natasha says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Your blog is so inspiring, I feel so happy everytime I come here! It’s a beautiful summer morning here, and I am enjoying my coffee while reading your posts and listening to Patti Page! Best way to start my day! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

  36. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♫♥♫♥♫♥ Wht a Magical Garden Party Sweet Sue…L♥ve All those Twinkling~Lights…they set The Mood & Oh what a Yummy Menu! & Thanks for The Wonderful Bookmark! Yay! Happy 4th of July to All! xoxo Poof! 🙂

  37. Teresa Castle says:

    Posting late, as I’m just catching up on the blog from the weekend. Love the blog, but just a note that your flag is hanging backwards (maybe the picture was transposed when you uploaded it?). The blue field should be on the observer’s left. 🙂

  38. Kathy Scott says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love your blog and Martha’s Vineyard, my all time favorite place to vacation – in fact I am writing this comment from our rental in Edgartown on Curtis Lane. We leave tomorrow evening with many wonderful memories of eating, shopping, people watching & just being…. spent Tuesday in Menemsha eating lobster rolls, clam chowder & lobster bisque at Larsen’s fish market – deeelicious! Sounds like all we do is eat.
    Thank you for sharing the pictures of your 4th of July party looks like so much fun. We attended the Edgartown parade – had a ball. Love you books (favorite is Girls Forever), stories (favorite is Pancakes) and recipes (favorite is the cauliflower & tomato casserole). Looking forward to your next one.

    Thanks for making everything so special….xoxo Kathy Scott

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