Labor Day Weekend … “The Gang’s All Here!”

Hail, hail, the gang's all here, 
Never mind the weather, here we are together;
Hail, hail, the gang's all here,
Sure we're glad that you're here, too!

If you’re not barefoot, then you’re overdressed.

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Labor Day is the last big fanfare of the summer here at the lake and I’ve been getting ready for our weekend with “the gang all here!” I thought you might like reading and seeing some of the tips, preps, how to’s, menu’s, and recipes we use for our family get together’s and what we do here at Cottage Green preparing “4theseasons” and for our family celebrations. P.S. For those of you that don’t know … my Twitter and Instagram account is 4theseasons. (;

I love how summer just wraps it’s arms around you like a warm blanket.

Kellie Elmore

Since we’ll have several different areas set up for food and drink, I always like to have multiple caddy’s ready that are easy to carry and set up and hold all our cutlery and napkins. I use this rugged twig caddy often, since it’s so handy. (See it in the picture above when we had watermelon on the dock while watching the gorgeous sunset and (click here to see the same twiggy caddy in a Woodland Christmas Tablescape) I always tuck cloth napkins into the basket to line and soften the edges of the twigs, and to match the cutlery we’ll be using. Our color theme for Labor Day is red, white, and blue and a basket of red anchor napkins on a blue and white striped background will be whimsical setting on the dock table and will fit in perfectly with our lake theme, in just the right colors.

Next … this cute and showy rowboat caddy will be for our Farewell BBQ dinner. No frail paper napkins will do when finger lickin’ ribs and homemade barbeque sauce are on the menu! Red cloth bandanna’s are folded up to secure cutlery, then are wrapped around the bundle and festooned with red, white and blue wired tinsel.

Red, white and blue plastic sandwich baskets are lined with festive red and white checked deli papers. The baskets are sturdy and easy for small hands to carry even when their baskets are filled with ribs, cool pasta salad, and a little bean pot filled with (Delicious BBQ Beans – click here for recipe.)

Pictures and Instructions … How to Assemble Cutlery and Napkin Packages

1.Fold napkin into quarters. Place folded edge to your left side and open selvage of your napkin to your right. Fold up the bottom edge of your napkin, about 5 inches, if you are using larger napkins like these bandanna’s. If the napkins you use are smaller, fold up less material, according to size, but so you still have ample material left to pull up, cover and secure your cutlery.

2.Place a knife, fork, and spoon with the tips of the cutlery just beneath the left hand corner of your napkin and fan out so bottom of utensils are in line with the right hand bottom corner. FYI: Placing the cutlery beneath the edge of the material makes a prettier presentation and helps keep the utensils from getting dirty.

3.Now fold the left side of the napkin over the top of the utensils and fold the bottom right hand corner of the napkin straight up, over the top of the first fold. This secures your cutlery and keeps it from falling out when it’s picked up. Remember those unfortunate times all your silverware has fallen out when you were picking up your silverware bundle at a restaurant or cafeteria??? This tuck keeps that from happening!

4.Holding the left side of folded napkin and keeping the cutlery in place in the center (the cutlery will slide somewhat as you keep rolling your napkin, you can flare it out, again, if you need to, after you have secured the napkin bundle with your tinsel wire or cording) Just keep rolling your bundle to the right until all the material of the napkin is entirely wrapped around the bundle inside. When your napkin is rolled around in a concise package, hold or place the cutlery bundle down on the surface you are working on so it doesn’t unroll while you are getting your wired tinsel to secure the package. In the picture below I wanted you to be able to see how your bundle should look before securing. TIP: I usually have my tinsel or cording already cut and ready before I start my bundles so I can tie each place setting immediately, after I’m through rolling my napkin bundle.

5.Finished rolled cutlery bundle before cording.

6.I am not too exact when I am using tinsel wiring since I don’t like to pull out all the bends, plus any excess tinsel always looks cuter when there’s more! Each strand of tinsel wire I cut is approximately 13 inches long. Don’t worry if you don’t have any tinsel wire, I have made these bundles using colored raffia (click here to see Easter bundles made with smaller paper napkins and tied with raffia) silk red and green plaid ribbon with pine cone ornaments attached, rugged jute with white lifesavers dangling to mimic life preservers, and thin white macrame cording with anchor buttons; whatever tinsel or cording I’ve used, these bundles are always darling.

7.Center your tinsel or cording around your bundle so there is an equal amount of wire or cording on each side of the napkin to twist or tie.

8.Wrap the 2 strands of your tinsel or cording around your bundle to meet in the middle and twist together, or tie in a simple knot if you or using cording . When I use tinsel wiring, after twisting the tinsel to hold in place,I twirl first one end and side of the wiring loosely around my index finger, then I slip my finger out, which leaves the tinsel in loose coils. Then I gently pull the coils out to the desired length I want … then I do the same thing to the opposite side of the tinsel.

One more caddy finished and one to go for our Sand Pail Ice Cream Finale (click here for pictures of our Fun Summer Tradition)

Gotta go, the Gang’s Almost Here! Hope you have a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend … AND I hope you liked this post. I’m planning on this being a new series of blogs I share with you whenever “our gang” is coming! ❤

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Our Week of Thanks-giving

by Trenda

After all the shopping, decorating, cleaning, and cooking … I hope your Thanksgiving was everything you hoped it would be!

For us … it was a wonderful, blessed week of our family “gathering together” again.  Days of mishaps and bruises … laughter and tears … “simmer’s” and smiles … indulgences and exceptions … understanding and camaraderie – all experienced with the blessed assurance that the emotions and remembrances shared were sheltered under the wonderful umbrella of Love … the halcyon days of our family!

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Beautiful autumn days …

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Park days & pizza …

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crafts with Grandma …

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A day at the zoo!

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 Feasting and football …

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golf cart rides … grandkid-time … and late night snuggles!

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and during it all … I was Thanks-giving! (: 

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Next … (:  I know you’re going to love this recipe I’ve included below!  It is one of my family’s favorite side dishes … Apple-Cranberry Salad and it is delicious, beautifully showy, and it is so easy to make!  I found this recipe years ago in the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook “Taste of Autumn” which was submitted by Carla Hyde from Fletcher, North Carolina.

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 I’m always collecting vintage dishes and planters and I love using them in unexpected ways in my home and on the table. This ruby colored salad is always the “crown jewel” setting on the table, but I think it looks especially beautiful in this petite Carnival Glass Punch Bowl that I was thrilled to find in an antique store, complete with 5 darling punch cups!

Apple-Cranberry Salad

  • 6-oz. pkg. of red colored gelatin (I use cherry)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 16-oz. can whole cranberry sauce 
  • 16-oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1 red apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans and add more to taste!)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (I omit these)

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.  Add cranberry sauce and stir until berries are separated.  Add remaining ingredients; chill until set.  Makes 12 servings.

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What a blessing it was to be “gathered together” once again …. “to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known;  The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;  Sing praises to His Name, He forgets not His own.”  ~  Adrianus Valerius, 1597

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

I am delighted that you read my blog, today.  I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments you have, below.

 

 

Cottage Green on the Lake … Sand Pail Ice Cream by Trenda

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!!”

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Back when our kids were in elementary school we began this family tradition of making, what we later named … “Sand Pail Ice Cream.”  It became our tradition to make this ice cream when the last school day of the year was over; a happy and fun beginning to summer vacation!

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Now, with all our family and their children going to different schools and having different schedules in different cities, we aren’t always able to make it together at the beginning of summer, but it remains a fun family tradition we still have every summer.  This summer we made it for our Labor Day celebration, signifying summer’s end, rather than it’s beginning.  Fun and equally good, whenever it’s served!

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First, you need to invest in a brand new plastic sand pail. (:  Wash your new pail in warm sudsy water.
Then set out 1 or more half gallons of ice cream, depending on how many people you will be serving and how much your sand pail will hold.  (It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the sand pail I have can hold 3 half gallon cartons of ice cream!  We have also used additional sand pails when we have larger crowds to serve and for different flavors and mixes!)  When the ice cream has softened, scoop the ice cream from the cartoon and into the sand pail.

The rest is simple … just chop and stir in your family’s favorite ice cream “add-in’s” and toppings … or dish ice cream into separate containers for each person to individualize with their choice of toppings and add-in’s!

Some suggested add-in’s (but not limited to!)

  1. candy
  2. ice cream syrup’s
  3. marshmallow topping
  4. cookies
  5. fruit – cherries, pineapple, banana
  6. cool whip 
  7. sprinkles  … the more sprinkles, the better for your little ones!

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Other suggestions …

  • make sure all your candies “compliment” each other (don’t mix sour candies with chocolate candies!)
  • my family’s favorite ice cream is Bluebell’s Cookies and Cream – I used that flavor of ice cream and already had 1 “add-in” … cookies!
  • do not use candies that might harden in the ice cream and be difficult to bite into! 
  • have 2 or more sand pails for additional or different flavor combinations! 

Have fun setting your table and using all your festive bowls, glasses, soda fountain glasses, straws, spoons, and decorations!  I added a centerpiece of giant pixie straws, cupcake liners to hold extra add-in’s to nibble on, and little plastic animals to adorn each ice cream serving!

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“We all scream for ice cream!”

From my cottage to your’s ~  Trenda