Friday, June 1, 2012

the help...

 There was a party happening in our neighbourhood over the weekend.
Friends of ours were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.
No...we weren't among the invited guests.
But we found a way be part of the goings-on anyhow!

We arrived an hour before the guests...
in black pants and white shirts.
We were invited in.
 We weren't there to eat, drink and be merry.
We were 'the help'!

Eric and Irene invited their original wedding attendants and spouses to come for dinner.
The spent all day preparing a feast for their guests.
We offered to dish it up for them...
while they sat at the table and enjoyed their own party.

We surveyed the table...
and noticed the names on the place cards.
We have only known Eric and Irene these past few years...
and never for a moment thought we might know any of their guests.
What a surprise to discover that one of the groomsmen was a childhood friend of my hubby's.
And another guest was a childhood friend of mine...
our parents were good friends.
How nice to meet...
and serve...
old friends!

The napkins were leftovers from their wedding.
Who still has napkins...
40 years later?
How special is that?

As for the dinner that we dished up and served...
it was most special as well.

* * * *

Our 40th Anniversary Menu

Honeymoon Greek Salad
Fresh lettuce leaves garnished with crumbled feta cheese,
English cucumber slices, green onion tidbits, fresh basil, and
ripe olives, augmented by a
homemade dressing of olive oil, lemon juice,
and simple seasonings


Amore Stuffed Breast of Chicken
Tender chicken breasts gently stuffed
with asiago, parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses,
fresh mushrooms, peppers, and crumbs
of homemade bread, delicately enhanced with
fresh basil, salt and pepper.

Always Faithful Twice-Baked Potatoes
A classic favourite, baked potatoes filled with
mashed potatoes blended with sour cream, green onions, and
cheddar cheese.

Lemon-Kissed Vegetable Medley
Fresh carrots and green beans adorned with
hints of lemon, garlic, basil and cracked pepper

Sweetheart Cranberry Sauce
Sweetened whole cranberries simmered
to perfection

Darling Dessert
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake,
like we enjoyed at our wedding receptionfresh
strawberries and whipped cream
hugging a tender cake

* * * *

Would you not love to eat in that restaurant? 
All dishes on the menu were recipes from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog or cookbook.
They just came with new names!

The party favours for dinner guests were signed copies of the MGCC cookbook.
How fun to be a part of Eric and Irene's special evening!

It seemed inappropriate for 'the help' to pull out a camera while serving the guests...
and so I will share with you a photo of the hosts...
taken 40 years ago.

They won't mind...
I'm sure.
 They are out sailing the high blue seas for the next while. 

Though 'the help' was quite busy in the kitchen all evening...


...I couldn't resist a few moments of reprieve on their back patio.  
They have the loveliest of gardens...
and a creek in the background.

Though we may not be that informed on the 'do and don'ts' of proper table service...
we had a fine time being 'the help' for one night!


  1. This is the very first time that I ever read of one of the authors of a famous book, serving and cleaning up a fine dinner, that was made using the books very own recipes. What an honor for you and for them. Personally, I think anyone who celebrates 40 years of married life, deserves a party. The menu sounds like the perfect anniversary dinner.

    Happy 40th Anniversary to the happy couple!

  2. What a great event to celebrate and to serve at. Beautiful table. How fun that they had napkins left over to use at this occasion!

  3. what a thoughtful act of service! i know that was very special for them and you had fun, too! very creative menu and i love that they still had napkins. she is a girl after my own heart!

  4. What a wonderful evening! No wonder they are celebrating 40 years of marriage, especially with kind friends like you!

  5. How fun! The menu sounded delicious. What a terrific (and generous) way for you to share in their special day.

  6. What a fun post! "The Help", "who has written a famous Book", hmmmm sounds like a movie I love :). What a fantastic idea to celebrate 40 years of marriage. I might steal this idea for our 40th coming up next summer.

  7. It sounds just like you two! I'm sure that the anniversary couple was very much blessed by your service. Is your entire community related? ☺

    That table looks marvelous, the food sounds mighty fine, and the! So glad that they are being used. (I'm sure that there are more for the next celebration!)

  8. Oh, I am going. Just waiting for John to show up.

  9. That table cloth is absolutely beautiful. Anniversaries are so much fun no matter the year.

  10. This was such a sweet idea and the menu sounded absolutely delicious! Happy 40th anniversary to Eric and Irene!

  11. What a wonderful way to contribute to someone's anniversary celebrations. I'm sure that your labor of love will be remembered for a long time to come.
    May they enjoy some sunny skies. That same recipe is being prepared for our birthday celebration today.
    Where's the sun?

  12. Gotta love that menu!
    I like the menu or program with the wedding photos beside each plate.

  13. I sometimes think that the "help" at those kinds of events has the most fun of all. Love the menu! So creative.

  14. I love being the "help". I can see that you and Elmer would be so gracious and I might keep you in mind. :)
    We still have some napkins from our wedding but not enough to feed our whole wedding party.

    We should get them to name the recipes more often.

  15. Contagious joy! Oh I wish every bride would routinely save wedding napkins confidently knowing they would be the perfect touch at her 40th anniversary dinner. And to have the wedding party seated together again! Amazing. So sweet that your servant heart allowed you to be in the midst of such happiness.

  16. What a beautiful gift you gave your friends! I'm sure your smiling faces added much to the festivities. And who cares if the salad should served from the left side or the right side? The important thing is that everyone got some of it. The menu sounded delicious, and it sounds as if a fine time was had by all -- including the help! :o)

  17. What fun to participate in this celebration by serving your friends! 40 years is definitely worth celebrating in high style. The food sounds delicious!

  18. What a lovely idea l of you to for a 40th anniversary celebration and so thoughtful of you to help out so they could sit and enjoy their meal too.

  19. Judy, I can just imagine the fun you had helping with such a great celebration! Two years ago a friend's daughter wanted a small family only celebration at their lakeside home so my friend invited 3 of her friends to "help". The bridegroom's mother made us lovely matching aprons and we had such fun serving, Our hubbies were invited to the family BBQ the next day. It was great fun!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson