May 6, 2012

Weekend Update: Part 540

What a whirlwind of a weekend. I started on Friday with the cocktail party at Ladew Gardens. As I mentioned here, it was a gorgeous evening in one of the most beautiful settings in Maryland.

On Saturday morning, I headed back up to Ladew for the Priority Preview Sale and Lecture with speaker, Carolyne Roehm. Let me just say how delightful, charming and funny Carolyne was. She talked a little about her history, with its highs and lows, including a devastating house fire. But mostly she talked about gardens, and how she is a gardener. Her background in clothing design helps her in her garden design, and she plans her plantings with the whole garden and the whole house in mind. One of the most interesting things Carolyne said was to think about planting with foresight. Instead of planting what catches your eye at the nursery, think about the rooms where the flowers will be displayed, about which vases they will be arranged in, and about the parties you will use them for. Think about how the room looks a whole and with the flowers as a part of it. Great advice!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I raced back into the city to prep for an impromptu Derby party I was having. It was all very spur-of-the-moment, with the first guests being invited on Thursday afternoon. In the ensuing 48 hours, I knew I had a lunch event, an appointment at the garden center, a cocktail party, and the preview party and lecture. So, in the spirit of all good hostesses, I cheated. chicken

But, I knew things would be fine, when I confessed what I was going to do to Stiles Colwill, one of Baltimore’s leading hosts. He told me that he’s done it numerous times, and his advice was to put all the chicken pieces on a roasting pan, line and layer it with paper towels and turn on the oven to 150*F for an hour. The chicken is nice and crispy and not dried out at all.

Because it was Derby day, I made up batches of mint juleps. Since my heirloom silver julep cups were stolen a few years back, I’ve had to make do with cheapie ones from the old Bombay Company. mint-julepBut I do still have some of the great silver straws that help you suck down a julep. silver strawChef Cat made some of the most amazing brownies. I wish I could show you how beautiful they were, but they were all scarfed up in seconds. She did chocolate brownies, but made a salted caramel glaze for the tops. Holy smokes, they were good!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I rounded out the weekend by watching Sherlock Holmes on PBS. I’ve been hearing a lot of interviews with Stephen Moffat, the creator of this show and Dr. Who, which was filmed in Cardiff when I lived there. In fact, my car is in one episode. Anyway… I am not a big TV watcher, so it has to be something special for me to dig out the television set.  I highly recommend this.


How was your weekend?


  1. Whew! What a whirlwind bunch of days - I admire your energy. It all must have been great but I'm now drooling at the thought of those brownies with my favorite- sea salted caramel!

  2. Meg a whirlwind indeed!! Seeing Carolyn must have been such a treat, and her information and tips are invaluable!

    Wow your silver straws.... gorgeous

    Adore the Sherlock Holmes on PBS! The actors are so so good in their roles.


    Art by Karena

    1. I found a whole cache of these straws in a thrift shop. Some were sterling and some were silverplate. I remembered having them when we were children.

      And Carolyne was wonderful. Great insights.

  3. Wow-----I think I would need a week to recover from that week-end. Thanks for sharing. Mary

  4. Ladew was wonderful...sorry we missed each other! Meeting Carolyne Roehm was such treat! xx

  5. Royal Farms chicken is the best entertaining shortcut in Baltimore! When I wrote about it in the Sun last summer, I had people coming up to me right and left, just to say how much they love it.


Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.