Even though the official beginning of summer is in June, Memorial Day has become the start to summer for us. For Memorial Day weekend, we attempt to eat outdoors as much as possible and the habit continues throughout the summer until magically, Labor Day arrives and we take our meals back indoors. I have seen many movies where the characters place sawhorses on the lawn and throw some planks of wood on top of them. Then, a cloth is spread on top of the wooden planks, and chairs are placed against the table. Dishes, glasses for wine of course, and vases with flowers fill this impromptu table. Then, the meal is brought in large platters that are passed around while everyone chats and drinks happily.
Even though it is only May 8th it is not too early to prepare for outdoor dining delight! If the above mentioned “movie scene” is not possible for you to create, there are several online and paper catalogues that have great picnic and outdoor dining options for purchase. I just received word via flyers from Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, IKEA, West Elm, K-Mart, and Wal-Mart that summer outdoor furniture is available for sale and on sale. In an attempt to avoid needless trips and to save gas, I have linked all the websites for the above mentioned retail stores with the hope that you will browse online and then actually drive or walk to the store to purchase what you need for summer outdoor dining.
There is nothing like having dinner outdoors as the day cools down, and the western sky projects a colorful artwork that changes every day. When everyone gathers at the table for our alfresco family dinner, the fireflies begin their evening flights and search for mosquitoes for their meal. We often stay outside and light several citronella candles until dusk turns into a dark, summer night.
I must also recommend alfresco breakfast. Before the sun comes up with that summer intensity, I love to relax with my coffee or tea at my outdoor dining room as I begin the day. Wishing you many marvelous summer nights of outdoor dining and many mornings of breakfast outdoors.