Now that I'm finished with grad school, I've been planning on having my Mom over for a nice Summer-y lunch on the screened-in porch.
Due to the heat and/or rain, we've had to reschedule a couple of times. Yesterday, it was raining buckets and we very nearly abandoned the idea.
Instead, I decided to move the picnic indoors!
In true picnic fashion, we enjoyed tofu-dogs on whole wheat buns with veggie chili and spicy mustard, fruit salad and a corn/bean salad (from Whole Foods).
I had set the dining room table with some blue and white batik linens that I bought at Crate & Barrel, a few years ago (souvenir of my stay in Chicago), used some attractively crackled plates and popped some daisies (also from Whole Foods) into a tall vase. To brighten things up (because it was very grey and rainy) I'd added a vase of faux lemons.
I have this theory about entertaining: The most important thing to do is let the guest(s) know that they're expected and welcome. For me, that usually means setting the table first (sometimes, the night before) and making sure that there's fresh coffee and an alternative to offer.
As much as I have always enjoyed cooking, I have no trouble with picking things up at the deli counter or grabbing some take-out. If the aim is to spend time with my guest(s), there's no sense in my spending more time in the kitchen than at the table For this luncheon, all that I really had to do was pour some coffee for my Mom and then heat up a few things.
We had a lovely, relaxed visit and - despite the rainy day - enjoyed a sunny picnic!