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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Beyond the Book: #Garden Party


Aimee Sherwood never dreamed that following her fiancĂ© into the witness protection pro-gram would land her in a haunted house in a town that’s downright creepy. She’d have laughed if she had been told the guy who lives down the road might be her soul mate, not the man whose ring she’s wearing. Life in West Virginia is nothing like life in Los Angeles, but between bean ball battles with Marilyn Monroe, remodeling a crumbling farmhouse, and starting a new online business, life in the country is anything but boring.

Now about that guy who lives down the road... His name is Cade McCoy, and he owns a 19th century property called Bad Creek. He raises horses. Here's a picture of Bad Creek. Pretty, isn't it?

Since Cade's house was constructed in the 19th century, he decided to give a 19th century garden party. People in the that era loved garden parties. They were thrown and attended by the well-to-do people of the day. The parties were held outside and were quite formal. In this selection from Fortuna, Aimee and Cade are talking about the food he served.

“Is the food all nineteenth century stuff?”

Cade’s laughter rang across the yard and made Rocky look their way. June scowled at him and laid her hand on his arm to distract him. “Sort of. The petit fours, ham, and fruit are authentic, but I didn’t bother with the cucumber sandwiches, jellied tongue, or pate. Lemonade, coffee, and tea are all authentic, and so is the punch and claret cup.”

“What’s claret cup?” Aimee asked.

“It’s a gentleman’s punch made of red wine, sugar, lemons, and carbonated water. Sometimes they added fruit juice, spices, or liqueurs.” 

Personally, I think Cade should have served the cucumber sandwiches. They were small and crustless and filled with thinly sliced cucumbers and butter or mayo. I had one at a tea once, but I didn't think it was all that great. Still, it was a traditional favorite. As far as the main dishes are concerned, they were mostly served cold. Ham was a good choice, but the pate and jellied tongue were very popular as were cold birds, lobster salad, jellied tongue, and salmon. Sorry, but I can't do jellied tongue.

Peaches, grapes, melons and strawberries were popular fruits, and no garden party was complete without a nice selection of petit, dainty cakes, filled sweet biscuits, tarts, scones, and iced cookies.

I guess Cade did all right with his menu, and with everyone in costume, it would have been an evening to remember. It was for Aimee, but not because of the food or her costume. Bet you can guess why.

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