Casual Spring Party

When the sun's warmth returns after a long, cold winter, it's time to come out of hibernation and celebrate.
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Casual Planning

Fresh Tastes
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Arrange the flowers the night
before the party and refrigerate
them. Set the centerpieces on
the morning of the party.

Easter, Passover birthdays, and anniversaries -- plenty of legitimate occasions provide reasons to venerate spring. But we don't really need an excuse to party when flowers and trees are blooming and farmer's markets beckon us to revel in the season's beauty and bounty. With the return of winter-missed colors and flavors, choices are suddenly much broader. Baby vegetables, sugar snap peas, fresh herbs, and greens are an invitation to go with lighter fare. Tabletop ideas lean to the lighter side, too, now that the full bloom of spring flora is available. These simple, tasteful dishes may be served for any occasion and for any meal from brunch to supper. Whether served as a buffet or a sit-down meal, a selection of these dishes can enhance a casual yet elegant spring gathering.

Plan Ahead

  • Create a plan before getting your party under way. Make lists and timelines for shopping, cooking, and tabletop decoration or preparation.
  • Do whatever tasks you can in advance: Set the table, and if serving buffet style, lay out the cutlery, serving spoons, condiments and other necessities.
  • Consider a side table for drinks near where the guests will gather so you can offer drinks before the meal.
  • Make the most of seasonal produce and flowers. Plan according to what looks freshest in the market.
  • Keep spring tabletop design simple and inexpensive. If time is limited, use simple bouquets of mixed flowers from the garden. Inexpensive flowerpots can be painted in bright colors to hold equally vibrant flowers.

Continued on page 2:  Centerpiece Creation


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