Tailgate Party in an Orchard

We had plans to tailgate at a polo match Sunday afternoon. Days of work and gathering of supplies and most of Saturday cooking, and we were ready. We finished loading the car Sunday morning, intending to leave straight from church to tailgate and watch the match. Colette checked the field's information en route to church, only to discover that, due to the rain the previous day, the match was cancelled. Everything ready to go...and no place to go. Oh dear.

After a flurry of flying text messages between Colette and her friends, and a little regrouping and research after church, Plan B became tailgating in an apple orchard. And an excellent plan it proved to be! Colette had the vision and did all the styling, and I did most of the cooking, and friends provided companionship and fun!

I set up the cocktail table, while Colette readied everything else.

Then our friends showed up and the fun began!

Time for serious faces.

And happy faces!

Dinner time!

- Menu -

Adirondack Margaritas (recipe here)
Roast Turkey Breast
Thyme Roasted Apples and Onions (recipe here)
Potato-Leek Gratin (recipe here)
Sage Pumpkin Seed Bread (from a local bakery)
Assorted Cheeses: Brie, Gruyere, Beecher's Marco Polo cheese,
 and Vermont Farmstead Pumpkinhead Ale Cheddar)
Assorted Autumn Fruits
Apple-Cranberry Upside Down Cake (recipe here)
Lindt Chocolates
Hot Apple Cider

Since I'm endlessly fascinated with historical picnics, I've done quite a bit of research on the topic. In the past, a picnic was nothing more than a meal eaten outdoors. So, while our set-up might seem elaborate, it's really not much different than picnicking a century or more ago...in the day and age before paper plates, Solo cups, and plastic forks.

If you'd like to recreate our tailgating party, here's a useful list of supplies:

- folding table
- wooden folding chairs
- vintage wool blankets and comfy pillows
- picnic baskets and hampers
- silver trays, breadboards, and serving dishes
- glassware, china, flatware
- tablecloth and napkins
- portable bar stand
- something to make the table look pretty (pumpkins, wheat, flowers)

And, yes, it was a lot of work. But we created some precious memories with dear friends and our family, and that's worth it all!


  1. Sometimes "Plan B" turns out better than "Plan A." What a lovely venue. I love all the pictures and the food looks scrumptious! I just learned that picnic [pique-nique] is a term from 17th-century France for a bring your own wine dinner, where everyone brought a dish--- from my BHG magazine August 2016.

    1. Oooo. I'll have to see if I can locate that issue at the library! Thanks so much for your kind words and the info.!


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