How Many Women Does It Take To Host a Bridal Shower?

Answer: Five — one to be the decorator, one to be the chef, one to lose her car keys, one to obsess about the eggs getting cold and one to be the calm and peaceful center of it all — and she was the one whose house we had invaded. Five of us gathered together this weekend to host a brunch/shower for the bride-to-be daughter of another dear friend, and it was a great success. There were a few chaotic moments, naturally. Such as when we first were faced with an empty table and no real traffic-flow plan. Or when each of us at different times couldn’t find our A) phones, B) car keys or C) shoes. Or when one of our daughters — who shall remain nameless — asked the hostessing moms in honest curiosity, “Uh … what was y’all’s color scheme, again?” (This was the event for which we exuberantly made lots of tissue-paper flowers. Lots of them. In whatever colors of tissue paper we could score on sale find to match the lovely Gail Pittman dishes one of us bravely offered up.) But it all came together and our enthusiastic abundance of various colors saved us tons of money simply underscored the joyous celebration. And the idea from our chief chef to serve scrambled eggs in martini glasses and let guests add toppings was genius. Genius! So much fun, and of course the scrambled eggs stayed toasty warm in the chafing dish as promised. Add to that fresh fruit, cheese, and a variety of breads along with the local must-have of delicate almond-flavored petit fours and we had a delicious and pretty menu. It was as much fun for us, the hostesses, as it was for everybody else — and that’s the best kind of party to have.  The mimosas helped, too.

Fall Decorating

betty-sims-fall-decor-002Fall is my favorite season for decorating — I love bringing the outdoors betty-sims-fall-decor-0082in with cheerful pumpkins and vibrantly colored leaves. And when I say “I love bringing …,” what I actually mean is I love seeing what other people do since my fall decorating consists of occasionally throwing away empty Halloween-candy wrappers. I’m not lazy — well, not much, anyway — just creatively challenged. That makes me appreciate others’ decorating talents all the more, such as what I saw in this Decatur, Alabama, home. Betty Sims is a former restaurant owner and wonderful cook who teaches cooking classes in her home in Decatur. Friends and I went recently for a brunch class, and I loved all the fall vignettes Sims created with betty-sims-fall-decor-004simple elements from nature and her own collections. Of betty-sims-fall-decor-0051course, if I went out to my backyard and cut off a bunch of leaves and stuck them in a pumpkin, it would look pretty much as if I went out in the backyard and cut off a bunch of leaves and stuck them in a pumpkin. I’m just glad that there are other people around who know how to do it right — and invite the rest of us over for brunch. Here’s the Web site for Sims’ cooking school, Southern Scrumptious: