The end of the school year comes fast and furious around here. There are band concerts, special days like field day, class trips, plus teacher things to do like book inventory and document collections. So, basically, I am working like crazy and will probably continue to do so until the school year is over (in 9 school days – but who’s counting??). So there hasn’t been a ton of cooking going on at my house during the week. While the weekend is usually my time to cook, lately I’ve been working outside. I put in the vegetable garden, moved rocks, and spent some time with my new neighbor
Speaking of a freshly painted deck, that’s where I’ve spent a lot of my time lately. I’m not very much of a detail person so usually I don’t have to (Oh! I mean get to… because it’s a privilege and all!) paint. But painting the deck took so long that I needed to pitch in. In fact it took 3 weeks to power wash and then a weekend to paint. Then we had to get the pool ready to open, and clean out the garage which is also the game room. It’s been a crazy few weeks that culminated in our first pool party of the year tonight!!
The pool deck was painted blue and the railings were painted white (after power washing and priming of course!) The bar was Mark’s birthday present this year, and the kids insist on pool toys. (The round red thing is a large sea serpent!) It’s the perfect setting for summer entertaining as it is right off our kitchen/family room.
We have a varied group of friends with varied food situations. Today’s group included:
Me, the vegan
A gluten-free Omnivore child who is also allergic to some other foods (T)
A dairy-free/soy-free Omnivore child who is also allergic to lettuce
An Omnivore child who is allergic to all mammals (Who knew you could be allergic to only mammals??)
And a bunch of other omnivores
So this created an interesting situation! I had big plans to go fancy and make some things from my copy of “Vegan Planet” but in the end all the work I have been doing around the house took its toll. I woke up feeling bad and took a two hour nap. My hands and ankles were swollen so I decided to go simple. Appetizers were pretzels (both regular and gluten free), hummus and pita (2 different pitas were cut up; one had soy flour and one did not), and chips and salsa. I had planned on cutting up veggies but ran out of time.
The kids swam for awhile and the adults sat around and talked. I did eventually jump in for a bit, and then it was time for dinner. We provided some of the food, and our guests brought some as well.
There is meat bbq and fixins, and seitan bbq and fixins. There were a few things I had to clarify for my guests (like which coleslaw was traditional and which was vegan) but it went very well.
My seitan bbq was strips I had marinated in bbq sauce. I ate mine on a bun with some vegan coleslaw. Other menu items included a lovely fruit salad, baked beans, quinoa salad, and cucmber salad. It was a fabulous pool party spread!
After dinner the kids went back in the pool for a bit and the adults continued to talk and laugh. When the kids got tired they headed to the garage to play pool and pinball. It was a fabulous party and one we hope to repeat all through the summer. I was a little worried that, this being my first summer as a vegan, it would be more difficult to entertain but I found it to be no more difficult then normal. And in the end the laughter and friendship is the most important part!