Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Invitation to the Garden: Light Lobster Lunch

The Novel Bakers Present
Garden Week
May 27 - June 1

The Novel Bakers have a food-filled schedule this summer, and it kicks off with Garden Week.
On Monday and Tuesday, we'll explore Michael Devine's An Invitation to the Garden.

I fall in love with books quite easily, especially if food, tablescaping, and gardens are involved. So it's no surprise that I swooned over every page of An Invitation to the Garden. Divided into seasons, the celebrations focus on year-round entertaining in the garden: a Lilac Brunch, Lantern-Lit Drinks Party, Butterfly Luncheon, Early Autumn Dinner, Elegant Christmas Eve Dinner, and more.
When I read the menu for a "Light Lobster Lunch," I knew it would be the perfect meal for
Memorial Weekend.  

Homemade Lemon Soda
Chilled Terrine of Summer Vegetables
Lobsters Poached in Court Bouillon
Raspberry Sorbet with Chocolate-dipped Mint Leaves
Chilled Chablis

Sounds refreshing, doesn't it?
I like to keep things simple, so I made a few changes--boiled lobster with lemon butter; grilled vegetables; Boston lager; and store-bought raspberry sorbet.

"My favorite color combination for summer is classic blue and white," Michael Devine wrote. "The cool crispness of the contrast makes it a natural for summer entertaining and sets the tone for our annual Lobster Lunch in the Garden."

He added bold coral accents and crustacean items.

Our bald hilltop is land-locked, and it has one level spot for outdoor dining, near the shade garden. 
It's cool and breezy, with sweeping views of the mountains. 

Because lobster is rich and fatty, it needs a quiet menu. Bread is the perfect "plate scraper."
If you're looking for a healthy, quick, delicious side dish, you can't go wrong with grilled vegetables. The smokey and slightly charred flavor is such a nice compliment to the sweet lobster.

Grilled Vegetables
Slice zucchini, eggplant, and red bell peppers.
Toss with extra virgin olive oil, then season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Grill until tender. Garnish with Italian parsley.

Grilled veggies may replace potato chips at our house. 
They disappeared in a flash.

Chablis is refreshing and chic, to be sure, but my menfolk love a good lager with seafood.

Lemon butter was served in shot glasses.

A wooden cart worked beautifully as a makeshift buffet.

I'm looking forward to visiting the Novel Bakers every day this week. Today, the girls are doing
edible reviews of An Invitation to the Garden. You're cordially invited to join them:

Follow our adventures on the Novel Bakers' Garden Week Board on Pinterest.

Tomorrow, the Novel Bakers will return with a different menu from An Invitation to the Garden.
Thursday and Friday: In and Out of the Garden
Saturday and Sunday: Private Edens


As always, thanks for taking time out of your day to spend a few moments at Rattlebridge.

Shared at the following fabulous linky parties:
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

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  1. Crustaceans never looked so good and what a wonderful menu to celebrate with over Memorial Day! I adore lobster S&P's, oven mitt and wonderful napkin rings, but I'm WILD over your wooden cart! Perfect for a buffet or overflowing with pots and flowers! Your beautiful blue & white tablecloth with your basket of hydrangeas and that hilltop view...*sigh*...

    Such a beautiful book full of inspiration to kick off the week. I didn't have time to do it justice, just one post from me with my 'house' work these next few weeks but it is definitely a book I'll return to. Thanks for the delicious start to my day, I know the menfolk at Rattlebridge were happy with your menu :)

  2. What a fabulous feast. Lager goes very well with lobster. Your outdoor setting is lovely and so are your antique Hitchcock chairs. Makes me miss mine.

  3. What an elegant and gorgeous feast. My hubby bought this book for me recently. It is full of great ideas. But you did a spectacular job with your garden lunch.


  4. i have up since 3 am and just now able to get the laptop out so i can squeal with delight at your fantastic light lobster lunch! i ADORE you color combos and i got the biggest kick out of your first pic with the lobster claws waving to me in the middle of the night!

    so where do i begin... the gorgeous blue and white table, hydrangeas that make me blue with envy, bee skeps, a paint and barn as handy backdrops? be still my heart... country living at its best! i love your red table legs poking out even~

    but you know the killer pic... the million dollar shot is your wheelbarrow heavily laden from the sea... O-M-G... soooooooooo creative to whip that out! LOVE LOVE LOVE ALL THOSE SHOTS! and the napkin ring, geesh girl you knocked this one out to sea!

    veggies replace potato chips? i need my husband to see this...

    i must say the shot glass of lemon butter made my mouth water, this meal has a powerful pull on me...

    what a knock out presentation, i just love seeing how we all think and play, this is truly one of my favorites, that cart stole the show! i will be back to pin tonight, i still have to cook for 4 more posts!!! thanks for getting my juices flowing, ... with envy!

  5. I enjoyed the lobster lunch in your garden so much, what a lovely summer meal! The book sounds so amazing and perfect for the insanely talented Novel Bakers to spur on their endless creativity~ there is so much to see and enjoy, but I especially loved the old wooden chaise with the big bright red lobsters and the butter shots!

  6. Oh, that wooden cart! Where ever did you find that incredible piece? I realize Memorial Day is now past, but I want to celebrate with you! The lobster and grilled veggies are definitely on my diet. Your blue hydrangeas on that gorgeous textile is the perfect foundation for this alfresco party. Also adore the way you used your bee skeeps for added detail. Perfection all around, Michael Lee…………but that's no surprise!

    1. Sarah, I wish you could have celebrated with us, too. I found the cart last year at Pottery Barn. It's made of reclaimed wood and really looks like an antique.

  7. Lovely setting! Those hydrangeas are beautiful.

  8. wow, i love your blue white decoration!!! angie