“What though youth gave love and roses, age still leaves us friends and wine.”
– Thomas More
Welcome to spring. With hands stretched out, fingers stretch as far away from each other as possible, arms reached to the heavens, ad faces turned to the stars we are graciously excepting the return of the sun!
Welcome back to all our friends on the island. We wish you an evening full of laughs, wine, feasting, paying respects and of course we hope you brought your competitive spirit.
You will be needing it!
Last year we started a new routine or wait, better yet, a new ritual that we are calling Rest Stops. We created four out-of-the-ordinary Rest Stops in the middle of the year to celebrate with friends. Our garden and yard was transformed into many completely different ideas that could only come from a wild imagination and a huge ton of research. If you want to read the blog post that we posted about Rest Houses and the whole meaning behind these lovely gatherings then you can read about it here: Garden Parties. House Parties. Rest Houses.
We celebrated the time honored tradition of Candlemas in February of 2015 ( in a way that would probably make the church blush with envy 😉 ) as we creatively beckoned the return of the sun and the return of the newest growing season. We lit fireworks and said out two cents worth of hopes for the summer when we celebrated the midsummer moon in June. The best and biggest Rest Stop came just in time for the harvest. Nothing could beat the Dragon Slayin’ Hoshana party that found us scooping up candy off the patio and feasting under the candlelight of the gazebos chandelier and the warmth of the fire. We sprawled out on massive carpets and lounging pillows with out belly’s full of fresh goose and everything found from the garden. Oh, we didn’t stop there. (said with a pointer finger black girl power shake ) We wrapped up the holiday season with a “scavenger type hunt” through town with our Clue Swaggin’ Yuletide! The headlines came rolling in with the news that Mr. Yuletide had been murdered and the rest of the Clue characters had to find the murder weapon. You could say this was a very large scale dinner-who-dunnit with full costume and rather interesting murder weapons.
This year we have selected the times for all four of our Rest Stops and the first is under our belts! Our very first Vino Tippin’ Vinalia went off with out a glitch! We were Grecians on a Roman sized mission of celebrating the opening of the wine bottles for the first of the season. Here is a brief definition of what the actual, real Vinalia is:
The Vinalia were Roman festivals of the wine harvest, wine vintage and gardens, held in honor of Jupiter and Venus. The Vinalia prima, also known as the Vinalia urbana was held on April 23, to bless and sample last year’s wine and ask for good weather until the next harvest. The Vinalia rustica was on August 19, before the harvest and grape-pressing. Straight from Wikipedia.
Now with that said, everything in the Saucy Roots Garden must be dezified (to the point of no return ) for a party of this magnitude to take place. A quick definition of the word dezified: One concept or idea taken from the history books, because everything under the sun has already been done once, then rearranged, flipped on its’ ear, combined with other ideas and spit out into a whole new life of its own. So Vino Tippin’ Vinalia was created, every party we have ever thrown follows the same rules – dezified.
Our evening started with a trip down memory lane as we lit purple candles for loved ones that have passed before us, you know the ones, the ones we still constantly think about, the ones we can’t let go of, the ones we wish upon every first star that we see each night that they would come back to us.
Just inside the zen garden of our front yard sat the angel on her alter. Vintage Mason jars filled half full of kosher salt gladly excepted the lit candles of the each guest. A few tears were shed but the emotions didn’t linger long. After all we had a party to get on with!!
There is always one thing I can count on at each of these parties … people will complain, people will be adamant about not doing certain things that they think will happen, they will throw up their walls of “I AM NOT” faster than anything. But the funny part about all of it is this, They complain to the very last second and smile all the way to the finish line. Not everyone was completely happy with the evenings events but they soon realized after the wine tasting of our very own 6 flavors that they could really accomplish anything including a trip down the hill in a wheelbarrow! Let me introduce you to the very first Vinalia Winter Games! Let the competition begin!
A party like this needs a little competition and with this being an Olympic sized year then we had to toss is some interesting new versions of the old standard Olympic Games. After the lowering of the Vinalia Winter Games flag, the lighting of the cauldron, and the releasing of the dovecocks we hit the streets for the dezified versions of the cross-country skiing event, the bobsled event, and the biathlon. I bet none of the competitors were counting on cutting hotdogs dangling from their waist in tiny pieces with rat traps but you know what! They did it and they laughed the entire time! Cheers to the gold medal cheater winners. We look forward to your return in four years.
Dressed to the nines in our toga wear the leap-year-full-moon night was bright! We celebrated to our hearts content. We feasted on lamb, a side of beef, bowls of Mediterranean salads, and piles of fresh grapes that were imported from somewhere south. Heck, we just finished pruning the grape vines around here so there could be no way of harvesting fresh from the vine. But then again this isn’t August and we are not enjoying the Vinalia Rustica!
To have so many friends gather in one spot for an adventure such as this is always a good space to be in. We busted open the wine bottles from last fall which included our newest versions of apple, pear and peach/red plum. Everyone got the chance to sample the original grape, blackberry and our apricot cherry. Honest opinions were given and if given more of a chance several dollars would have been exchanged for a piece of The Hair of the Dogs Winery.
Every time we have a gathering like this I find myself sitting back at one point during the evening just watching the cares of my friend vanish, just for one bitter cold Snow Moon night their worries fall away, their stress levels drop and they are transported to a magical, happy place that they would never have imagined. That my friends is what our garden parties are all about.
Rest. Relaxation. Laughs.
Check out Faux Fancy. Upcycled. Grapes and Greens. for decoration ideas!
Read and see what we ended up doing with all the Uneaten. Left Over. Mound of Grapes.