Monday, March 1, 2010

DIY: A 100% Organic Dinner Party

Originally uploaded by emilie raguso
Yesterday, I threw yet another dinner party, this time for 42 guests, in an empty Victorian in West Oakland. The menu was  100% organic and "farm-to-table" which included courses like green garlic soup and shaved asparagus with lacto-fermented beets. In line with the organic theme, I wanted to have an earthy, yet cheery centerpiece for each table. Daffodils immediately came to mind -- they're springing up everywhere -- we saw lots blossoming along the highway from and to Mendocino a couple weeks ago and grocery stores are brimming with unfurled daffodil blossoms.

I bought potted mini daffodils ($3.99 for 3 bulbs in a pot) and cut daffodils ($1.99 a bunch from Trader Joe's) and put them in vintage pots and mason jars a friend had donated to me. I scored a huge box of Spanish moss from the Center of Creative Reuse for only $4 (a teeny tiny bag at Pottery Barn would've cost me $10) and placed freshly foraged chanterelles on top so that the table looked like a forest floor. Khaki colored gift paper from IKEA (3 rolls for $1) served as a table runner to finish the look (see photo above by Emilie Raguso, reporter at Oakland Local).

Here's how we set the glasses. I found sheets of "Organic" labels donated by Whole Foods to the Center of Creative Reuse for $1. I wrote each of the guests' names on the labels and set them next to their wine glass. We held cocktail hour in the backyard underneath blossoming fruit trees. My yellow Nantucket lanterns ($7 each from a Smith and Hawken closing sale; originally $39 each) played well with the yellow daffodils!

My total cost was $42!

6 love notes:

Bicoastal Bride said...

Love the bright, cheery colors in the examples!

Anonymous said...

I'm doing farm-to-table for our reception...I'm very excited!

Dana said...

Hi there,
Where did you get your potted daffodils (3 bulbs in a pot for $3.99)? I live in Oakland and found your blog when I was searching for daffodils online. I need them for my cousins' rehearsal dinner next weekend! Could you reply back to this post? Thanks so much!

Vera D. said...

Hi Dana,

I found the daffodils at Safeway. They're now $1.99! I hope you find them!! :)

Dana said...

Thank you Vera! I will go check at my local Safeway (51st and Broadway) and if I can't find them, I may ask you exactly which one you got them at. My aunt is going to be THRILLED -- I appreciate your help! Dana

Vera D. said...

So glad I could help, Dana. And be sure to check the Center for Creative Reuse. A friend just got a birdcage, and who knows what else they have this week? :)

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