Thursday, September 5, 2013

Foodie Friday: Day 3 of Gathering in the Garden

 Welcome to Foodie Friday
Day 3 of the Novel Bakers' Garden Party Week.
Jain, Mari, Mary, and I have been blending books and food again. This week, we've presented a darling book, Gathering in the Garden by Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband, two Nashville artists and authors.
Their recipes and party ideas have enchanted the four of us, and we hope you will enjoy
our interpretation of this charmer. It's 139 pages, small enough to tuck into your pocketbook when you dash off to the market or the beach. The pages are crammed with idea after idea. Many are illustrated, making your imagination soar.
For our third and final post, I made up my own party: Moving-Into-Autumn picnic
celebrating the color purple.
Our special guests include the Fabulous Ducks of Rattlebridge . . .

 . . . and the fashion forward scarecrow, Minnie Pause.
Today, Minnie just stepped off the runway, sporting a Kravet boucle jacket, Burberry dress with a ruched bodice, and tartan Wellingtons.

Her hair was styled at the Farm Fresh Salon.

I just finished photographing a little while ago--I've been running behind all summer!
I've been under the weather with tick bites and West Nile, so Bandwidth pitched in and helped
lift the heavy furniture--he also made biscuits and did a little Duck Whispering.
Thank you, Bandy!
On the menu:
Fried Chicken (from the Publix deli--we love it)
Ham and Creamy Biscuits (Bandwidth's recipe)
Green Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing (from the book)
Oatmeal Cookies (Slice 'n Bake)
Bandwidth's Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1/4 cup unsalted butter (chilled)
1 tablespoon shortening (Crisco)
2/3 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Sift flour. Cut butter and shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead pastry three times.
Roll out (gently) and cut out biscuits.
Spray PAM  on a cookie sheet.
Now place biscuits on the sheet.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add slices of fried country ham.
Green Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
For each individual salad you need:
1 salad plate
1 curly lettuce leaf
3 slices kiwi, peeled
1 cluster green grapes
5 scoops honeydew
4 slices green pear
4 slices green apple
fresh mint
green cherries (optional)
I added culinary lavender and chopped pecans.
Arrange the fruit on a lettuce leaf. In addition to using a melon baller on the honeydew, I used leaf cookie cutters to hopefully evoke the changing season.
Drizzle fruit with:
Honey Lime Dressing
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup lime juice
Whisk honey and juice. Drizzle over salad.

This is ambrosial, sweet and fresh, perfectly balanced. I added green
coconut on one salad, and it looked strange, so I ate it. (Of course!)
Even with the green coconut, this dressing is sublime.
I hope you'll try this salad!
Thank goodness we have a Publix grocery.

Slice 'n Bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies were cooled and slipped into purple organza pouches.
The Rattlebridge Duck gang stayed with us the whole afternoon,
drinking water, eating bread, and grooming.


We made spice cookies, too. They're in the kitchen...come on inside and let's visit.

Three days this week, the Novel Bakers have cooked their way through the delightful book,
Gathering in the Garden.
Monday, September 2nd
Today, Wednesday, September 4th
Foodie Friday, September 6th
 Catch up with the marvelous Mari, Mary, and Jain:


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  1. That purple is beautiful in your garden!

  2. Oh how great - love the outfit - stunning. The food looks so good.
    The ducks are so cute getting into the post. Looks like they are pretty tame.
    As soon as out weather cools of a bit I'm off to Barnes and Noble to get the book Gathering in the Garden. Great post.

  3. I have thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Pause's hijinks this week. I am pinning your green salad. It sounds so good and easy. I

    I have brought you a peach crumble that is surprisingly easy and is so good. I have not tried other fruits, but I think any in-season fruit would be delish.

  4. Well, Minnie really out did herself with her new hairdo! She just looks fabulous!! You can't beat Publix fried chicken except maybe with those buttermilk ham biscuits! The ducks really tried to steel Minnie's show, they have so much personality and seem right at home at your garden gathering today! I am so sorry you have had such a challenging summer health wise, I know you are tired of not having the energy you want. Once again the Novel Bakers have brought us endless eye candy, recipes and inspirations for a creative and artful life, Thank you so much!

  5. All the food looks delicious! Love the scarecrow, too funny!
    Thank you for the party!

  6. Love all the purple. The napkins are so pretty. I want to try the honey lime dressing. glad the ducks enjoyed the party too. Joni

  7. Well Michael Lee, everything looks , well...just ducky! Minnie is serving as the perfect hostess, all decked out in her fashionable outfit. Those biscuits look delish and wish we had a Publix to try the fried chicken. Hope you're recovering from the West Nile...poor baby. Take care and thank you for hosting, even while sick. xo

  8. oh gosh did i ever love that! i just don't want it to end... one of your pics didn't load, 4 up from the novel bakers on the bottom, heaven knows i want to see them ALL! this was so adorable, so full of charm, just like this little book was meant to be, brought to life for all to see how fun pages can be turned into real life... how can one not love bringing books alive, when is the last time you built and dressed up a scarecrow, or slipped your cookies in a pretty bag and visited with ducks all day long? the sheer joy of reading, playing and cooking wrapped into one marvelous week a month, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EMBRACING THE NOVEL BAKERS! this truly is my guilty pleasure getting to act out with all our heart and souls one week a month~

    i love your menu, i did a 1/2 @$$ version today too, i was to lazy to look for all green fruit, and now i am sorry i didn't, i always have fruit salad, how dare i miss something extra special like yours! but i did love the lime honey dressing and i see lavender making another special appearance! coconut sounds fabulous too... biscuits and ham and chicken too, girl you had FUN!

    loving the purple splashes, and of course minnie having her fresh falling hair with a tinge of purple rinse is divine! best dressed gal on the farm, someone to proudly call your friend! what fun you had, even being tired and achy with your health woes you still managed to put smiles on our all faces, what fun fun fun, i truly hope you enjoyed it too! and bandy too, its great he is an honorary nb working hard behind the scenes ;-)

    thanks so much for sharing, i am grinning ear to ear, another wonderful week with the novel bakers!

  9. That is a super model of a scarecrow! with the latest fashion! The bucket head is super creative! thank you for hosting the party Michael! Your pictures beautiful as usual! Have a fantastic weekend!

  10. What a beautiful gathering, and what delicious food you enjoyed! I love your ducks too - it looks like they had a lovely time! This week I've shared a Peach, Proscuitto and Parmesan Salad. Thank you for hosting, Michael.

  11. Great clicks of your garden with that adorable scarecrow & her tomato sign. I just wanted to grab one of Bandwidth's yummy biscuits & ham, stroll around, and enjoy the feast. Thanks for hosting each week and I hope you have a great weekend.

  12. I love the purple, the pictures, and the ducks! What a great gathering.. I have the same white plates and LOVE them.. Great post and thank you so much for hosting the weekly linky.. love it too..

  13. Feel better Michael ~ I'm happy Bandy was able to help with heavy lifting, ham & biscuits, (and Duck whispering)! Oh my, that Minnie is quite the fashion plate (with an attitude.) :D
    That fruit salad looks so refreshing, and Spice Cookies? YUM! It has been so much fun watching you ladies bring "Gathering in the Garden" to life this week ~ they should have consulted with you all for ideas before publishing. xoxo ~m.
    P.S. I have purple umbrella envy ~ I love it!

  14. Love the pictures especially the ducks! Enjoy your weekend!

  15. Well I knew Minnie Pause was a fashionista but I had NO idea she was hiding those farm fresh blooming locks! My friend Birdie needs to find a new hair dresser, her hair is clearly over-processed :)

    Hurray for Bandy and his Duck Whispering, I always love to see them on parade and he's a biscuit maker too, what talents! They look perfect for what ails you and your poor tick bites along with Publix fried chicken! Publix just arrived in NC, I'm anxiously waiting for it and it's bakery to arrive expand closer nearby!

    I adore your Approaching-Autumn green fruit salad with your leaf cut-outs! Oh so pretty, fresh and delicious with the culinary lavender. Your quilted table is a delight, complete with a bouquet of flowers and purple organza bags of cookies~ the perfect ending to a Garden Gathering Party!

  16. That plate of fried chicken looks amazing! And what a pretty spot to enjoy such a wonderful meal!

  17. What I wouldn't give for a ham biscuit right this moment and I'd not be sharing with the ducks! Such fun ways you gals have interpreted the book.

  18. Publix sounds like a wonderful market--please send them to CT! I am really enjoying your posts inspired by this little book, especially the garden ladies all decked out in their finery. I just found and started reading Consuming Passions--it is hilarious!! I hope you feel better soon. Linda

  19. Absolutely loved Minnie's hair today! High praises to the Farm Fresh Salon. I could just make a meal of those biscuits and fruit salad...Yum!

  20. Oh, my! That fruit salad looks divine! What a fun party that would have been. Thanks for hosting every week and for inspiring your readers with your food and decor.

  21. Thanks for hosting. Such beautiful photos!


  22. Love biscuits - Dearest would have them at every meal - and truthfully, there so easy, so he most often does :)
    I am a stickler about the buttermilk though - I think whole milk makes the best tasting, most tender biscuits.
    The salad looks so refreshing and the book sounds wonderful. I do appreciate you hosting and hope you have a blessed weekend,

  23. Great - now I need a ham biscuit. LOL Thanks for hosting. :-)
    ~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

  24. I need a ham biscuit. LOL Thanks for hosting. :-)
    ~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

  25. Loving the purple, the ham biscuits, the ducks, and that Honey Lime Dressing! :-) This week I've linked up lots of peach dessert love and yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe (one can't have too many, right?).

    Happy September weekend!

  26. Ms Minnie Pause looks ready for fall in her purple frock and jacket. What a fashion statement in her Kravet boucle jacket, Burberry dress with a ruched bodice, and tartan Wellingtons. She best not take off those Wellies while I'm around. I'm sure we wear the same size. ;-)
    A big thank you to Bandy for helping in the kitchen and moving department. Looks like the ducks are having a grand time.
    Hope you feel better soon. Take care of yourself. Let Bandy do all the cooking. ~ Sarah

  27. I love Publix fried chicken too! Love the idea of this fruit salad!

  28. All of the food looks great Michael! I'm especially drawn to the biscuits as I plan chipped beef for breakfast tomorrow:@)

  29. Man Oh man does that salad look good! I love ducks and you're so lucky to have them running around your yard.
    I'm reading my first book by you and I love it so much! Sort of reminds me of a Anne Rivers Siddons book. I can't wait to read more of your books.
    P.S. The ham bisquit doesnt look too lousy either.yum.

  30. "Her hair was styled at the Farm Fresh Salon"...I frequently look like I go to the same hairdresser! LOL
    GREAT post with lots of fun & laughter, ML. I sure hope you're feeling a bit better by now.

    Tell Bandy I'm making his biscuits this morning & putting sausage gravy over top for DH. Yum!

    Did you read or hear about Mario's idea of taking pictures of food at certain restaurants & sending to Feedly, where the participating restaurants will then make a contribution to feeding the starving children of Africa?
    Only NYC restaurants at the moment, but they're hoping the idea will spread.

    Read about it here:

  31. The biscuit and ham sandwiches are mouthwatering! How I appreciate a good buttermilk biscuit! Love the ducks!

  32. Those purple glasses are just gorgeous Michael Lee. What a lovely colour. Thanks so much for hosting.

    Anne xx

  33. Hi, this is my first time here. Thank you for hosting :) I brought Maple Apple Crisp and Mint Chocolate Fudge.

  34. WOW! That's a lot of good stuff you got there... On the other hand, I love how these photos were taken... Got to love the person behind the camera since he/she provide results that you'll certainly want to go out to eat some one of these delicious food since you can’t get it out from you laptop...

  35. WOW! That's a lot of good stuff you got there... On the other hand, I love how these photos were taken... Got to love the person behind the camera since he/she provide results that you'll certainly want to go out to eat some one of these delicious food since you can’t get it out from you laptop...

  36. Thank you so much for hosting.I brought my two Filipino favorites.Have a great week ahead.

  37. Yeah I also agree with this that having a dinner in the garden with the friends and families is really a beautiful experience and I really enjoy this so for this I want to get a good and small garden at my home so if you are having any Garden ideas then please tell me about this.