Flowers in a bucket mean...
Lunch under the tree.
My mom cooked every single thing except the chocolate rolls. I took care of flowers, ice, drinks. Our ancient metal cooler used to sit between the two front seats of our pale blue, and then neon yellow "Kombis" - flowerchild-style Volkwagen buses. It was the best seat in the house on holidays. We had not heard of seatbelts.
The weather has been steamy in Cape Town and we brought in extra bags of ice. Before we moved under the green coolth of the tree I sipped a gin and tonic. There's a delicious lemon cordial sold at Melissa's - mix that with some gin and tonic, smother the glass with ice cubes, and you have something wonderful.
An under-the tree-classic: tapenade, aioli, pesto, caramelized tomato sauce, layered and eaten by dipping toast fingers into the cups.
Lots of flowers.
My mom succeeded in outdoing my last chicken effort. The dish must have weighed a ton. The baby birds were ordered from another good little shop: Gogo's (check this link for a brief overview - but they don't seem to have a website. I never understand this). They are not butchers, but purveyors of specialty meats and poultry (and eggs). They told me that they had just received their order of goat. Goat! Also a lot of interesting venison. Worth a return visit. I am really impressed by Cape Town's changing food market.
Barley and pomegranate salad from Plenty.
Mushrooms a la Grecque. Make in advance, chill.
Herb roasted chickens, barley salad, tomatoes, mushrooms...
Below, luminous Graham Thomas, a gorgeous rose, if you have the space for it.
On the lawn there was a whole other party going on.
Summer fruits in their own juice. Strawberries, cherries, blueberries and Cape gooseberries.
Nips of chilled Cointreau.
By late afternoon well-fed guests had drifted home, dogs had calmed down, undrunk wine had been returned to its cool room off the garage, and I had begun to wonder what was for dinner. Well, sort of.
Above, the rose is Sharifa - super-fragrant. Take a deep breath.