Monday, September 2, 2013

gathering in the garden *****

present: gathering in the garden~

if you are looking for a darling little book, packed with artistic beauty, fresh ideas and recipes, please look no further, sit back and let the novel bakers present a gathering in the garden week for your viewing pleasure. from this wee book comes BIG ideas on how to creatively enjoy your very own garden parties. each of the dozen chapters offers you the perfect venue to enjoy natures bounty, right down to delicious recipes. each chapter offers you ideas for theme parties in the garden, from sunrise service, to tea time, straight on through to a little twilight magic~

this adorable book was written by two friends who met in kindergarten, 50 years later they still see their souls and spirits reflect back in one another. they grew up in the country, spending their days in the fresh air, every season was theirs to make the most of it, every day opened new doors for them to leap through. their imaginations created the world in which they lived, they needed no props to make it happen.

when they were 7 they both studied art under the same teacher. in this book you will find their love of art, combined with their great affection for the outdoors, coupled with a gardens bounty, from its preparations, to its final presentation. their garden gatherings are simply a way to take an ordinary occasion and make it extraordinary. as you read this book all they ask is that you take delight in their artwork and savor their menus, recipes and homegrown ideas...

for my kick off to a gathering in the garden, i am starting with chapter one, the tomato taste off. a coronation of the queen of the garden~

for a unique summer gathering, plan a celebration that heralds her short lived reign, highlighting the luscious red ripe heart and soul of summer, the tomato!

time to gather up my harvest and let the fun begin, starting by the crate load!

bring on the food and lets get this garden party started~

i hope you enjoyed yourself visiting our little tomato tasting, we dined on gazpacho shots on ice, roasted tomatoes with herbed mozzarella on skewers, little tomato basil jack cheese tarts, a gorgeous mini heirloom tomato tart with goat cheese and a delicious lemon basil herb dressing, fresh tomato bruschetta and for dessert tomato cupcakes, still on the vine. i guess you could say we partied til the cows came home~

as a little back story our beach house backs up to pasture land, when we first bought it was just wide open spaces, but a neighbor rented the land and brought in cattle... i do not like living with cattle for many reasons, but number one is they have a predetermined life span, and i detest that... as an animal lover i can't even look at them, knowing their days are limited... its hard on my heart.

i wanted to take advantage of the barn behind us as perfect focal point, i had my husband pick up the hay and drive it to the back fence area. all was calm and quiet... within 15 minutes it was a near stampede! with the off shore breeze the winds must have been laden with fresh hay bales and they came running from out of sight down a steep hill, and MOOING at the top of the lungs. of course this doesn't make me happy... my little picnic is being crashed, but the good news is my flapping banner keeps them a wee bit a bay. don't get me wrong, i love cows, i am just sad for them... its too close for comfort living with them.

there is nothing i can do about our uninvited guests, i just can't have eye contact or i will be begging scott to buy them all back and lets move and save their lives... i am just pointing the camera and clicking without looking. i continue on setting up our picnic, clicking as they move about filling in the voids, until i get on the computer i didn't know i have one more reason why i don't like living next to cows, its not the wholesome kind of pictures i am used to sharing ;-)

as double aside, when at the beach i am beginning to play where is the beach boy waldo. i wanted to tuck in a little seaside nod, see if you can catch the 3 seaside references~

check back all this week while the novel bakers gather in the garden to delight all of your senses~

home is where the boat is

once upon a plate

rattlebridge farm


  1. Whew...so glad I'm gathering tomatoes on Friday! Your fabulous tomatofest-with-cows-country-picnic puts mine to shame. I adore your barn backdrop and banner with your clever tomato lettering!

    I love cows with their luminous eyes, I just try not to think about their destiny. My grandfather had a barn and pasture with horses, cows, and rows of hen houses. Seeing that face and your wonderful setting takes me back...there's just something about a barn, barbed wire and wide open spaces that makes me breathe a deep country sigh of contentment...inhaling very prudently :)

    Your labels are so wonderful on your crates! Love the Four Friends especially~ once again I have crate envy... Your red velvet cupcakes growing off the vine...*sigh* You are such a master, such fun to play along even if I stumble behind :) Thanks for the fun this holiday morning, off for more gathering!

  2. I am so very happy to have the Novel Bakers back again and your post today is just grand. Loved all your props and the barn and cows fit in perfectly. I am especially in love with all your dishes...so fitting for your tomatoe theme. As usual your theming and photography are just beautiful. Great job! :)

  3. Holy wow! I don't know where to start, but will begin by saying it looks like you had a ton of fun! I did spy King Neptune on a crate and and "octomato" here and there...your tomato tarts had me absolutely drooling...and the cows stampeding to the smell of fresh hay is pretty hilarious! I definitely would be off my game if cattle showed up at my beautifully executed photo shoot, but it makes a great story! Thank you for all the eye candy and such a fun way to spend my laborless day!

  4. I absolutely loved the cows in the pics, they really added authenticity! Sad, that their days are numbered, but incredibly beautiful as all God's creatures are. Loved your table and your tomato creations are incredible!

  5. You were inspired and had quite a garden party! I love the cows...but I am certain tomatoes weren't the menu that they were expecting. Lovely pictures..love the old barn...

  6. Oh, what a fun book! I've just viewed Mary's post with her adorable May & Will and will whisk off to see Michael Lee's and others asap. The Novel Bakers are all so talented and clever!
    Like you, I can hardly look at those eyes and not think about their future. You got some great shots. We have two large watercolor paintings that could have been painted from the scene of your cows in the field, especially the ones where they are up by the fence.
    This is a tasty post, and I don't even like tomatoes! Loving all the crate label art. Did you make those? The Queen of the Garden is adorable, and meant for you. Lastly, as a primary teacher I'm great at Where's Waldo. I spotted them immediately - San Pat, Point Reyes, the octopus, and the sand pail of Bloody Mary drinks. Love it ALL and look forward to the follow up posts with this charming book. I'm off to visit others and order a copy of this book. Thanks! ~ Sarah

  7. I loved seeing the cows in the puctures, just sad that they have limited lives, they are so pretty. Your FEST is fabulous and had my mouth watering. Love the banner and you have so many wonderful tomato plates! XO, Pinky

  8. I'm back for more and to gather in the garden 'til the cows come home! Had to share this on FB, so love your countryside setting for your tomato with hay bales picnic! The hay farmer next to us mowed his field on Friday, fluffed the grass Saturday, bailed on Sunday and hauled them away! I keep hoping he'll be less industrious and leave them for a day for me to have a picnic but no such luck :)

  9. OMG Jain, what fantastic photos! When are you going to find someone to publish a book of your photography?
    You have done many tables that I have drooled over, but this one is by far my favorite. I will come back several times to look...have a great week,

  10. Oh MY ~ You really outdid yourself on this one! And that's saying A LOT.

    Everything is so colorful against the grayish background, those vibrant reds and blues just POP. Your crates, (well, all of your fitting accessories) and your food are fabulous!~ I see your signature all over everything. :)

    Needless to say, I'm sure that pasture has never seen the likes of anything like this!

    Hope your holiday was a good one.

  11. Wow, what a celebration of tomatoes! Truly nothing like it that I have ever seen.

    How funny that the cows came a running. Yes, I wouldn't want them as neighbors either - the smell and the flies, but they sure made cute pictures!

  12. thank you everyone for visiting and commenting, it is truly delightful to hear from all of you!