Family Reunion

This past weekend, we celebrated by mormor’s 85th birthday (August 8) and my Aunt Judith’s 70th birthday (August 10)! Sam and I hosted the event in our backyard. There was so much planning, organizing, and weed whacking, but I think it was worth it.

Lucky for us, my family is always willing to help out. For the event, we rented a 20X20 tent, 3 round tables, about 30 chairs, and 1 eight foot table. My parents helped out with purchasing the tent rental, tables, and chairs. I went back and forth on buying a tent and not buying one, but I’m glad we did because everyone mingled under there to stay out of the sun. We’re a bunch of Swedes after all.

We also rented 3 white linens for the round tables, and I used a couple table cloths that I had of my own for the food and drink tables. We had a minor blueberry mishap and one was smooshed on my white table cloth, which I use for Christmas dinner!  I  know, I know – it was a summer picnic. Bad idea. Luckily we had some Shout stain remover. I sprayed the lovely purple smudge and then put a plate back over it! It soaked all day, and I washed them that night. There was no evidence of the blueberry stain or the small mustard spot. Phew!

I asked my mom to gather a bunch of family photos from my mormor’s house, so we could hang around the tent. The display was a big hit, and there were a bunch of photos left over so I filled a basket and put them on the table for people to peek at.

Best idea ever was to make the reunion a potluck. Everyone brought so many yummy dishes, and it took so much pressure off Sam and I. One of my Aunt’s brought several pop up food covers, kind of like these ones from Sears. I highly recommend using something like this for outdoor summer picnics. The gnats and flies came to the party hungry too. Gross!

For beverages, we purchased a ton of beer and wine. We thought that white wine would be the big seller, but we had to make a beer run half way through the party. Since we have an abundance of cucumbers in our garden, I also made a cucumber and mint ice water that was a big success.

I dressed the tables with wild flowers and vintage blue ball jars – simple and sweet. In the end the reunion was a group effort, and I’m so thankful for my wonderful family.

The Menu:
-Mini gyro’s with tzatziki (made by us)
-Chicken and cherry tomato screwers with pesto (made by us)
-Hamburgers and hot dogs
-Grilled Italian chicken
-Fresh salad and homemade vinaigrette dressing
-Loaded potato salad
-Cabbage salad with crunchy ramen noodles, sesame seeds, almonds
-Shrimp cocktail
-Quinoa salad with edamame, toasted pine nuts, farro, sun dried tomatoes, craisins, and kalamata olives
-Taco dip
-Avocado salad with corn, peppers, olives, edamame, green beas

Dessert:
-Carrot-Birthday Cake
-Chocolate Cake
-Swedish Coffe bread
-Peanut butter bars
-Gluten free cookies
-S’mores

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My mom and I setting up
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Photo montage
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The birthday girls and their cakes (which somehow they switched sides)
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The whole crew who made the trek out to our house, minus a few who were MIA
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My mormor and our family (minus my Aunt Jeannette, Uncle John, and cousin Johanna, who had to leave)
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My Aunt Judith and Uncle Lenny’s family, some of them anyway!

When the sun started to go down, we all gathered around the fire pit and stayed out there until early morning came. Ahh, sweet summer.

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