Food, Photo

Surprise Birthday Brunch

 For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the joy of collaborating with some friends on a “super top secret” surprise party for Margaret’s birthday, and on Saturday we executed the whole shebang to perfection. We rented out a garden in downtown Jackson and had a potluck-style brunch. By the time Margaret arrived, the table was filled with all sorts of good things: mini-BLTs, scones, muffins, eggs, coffee, O.J.—and the awesome cake Anna made from scratch. Good food, good people, good times. And good place! Special thanks to Mitch Carter at Moore Studio for his garden and for being so helpful!


Summer’s End

Although the last day of summer isn’t technically until later this month, it seems like summer’s been ending for what feels like a long time now. I’m three weeks into my last semester as an undergrad and any delusions of R & R have been retired — but c’est la vie. Am I right? Am I right??

On Saturday I was fortunate enough to sleep in. When I woke up, the house was quiet, and I found my roommate sitting on our back patio drinking some tea. I went outside to join him but decided to go back in to put on a sweater and make some tea for myself. It was cool out and felt like a morning should feel. Fresh. (I did made the mistake of putting on a turtleneck later that day, however. We sweater lovers can be a little overeager, can’t we?) And even though the leaves aren’t changing quite yet, I sat on that patio as long as I could. Content.

Photos are from a welcome back cookout at the beginning of the semester.


Food, Photo

Farmers Market Dinner Party

For the past month I’ve shared a few posts about by favorite things in Jackson — as a sort of “ode” or even as a brief What-to-do-with-your-downtime list. The three, now four, posts I’ve done by no means exhaust the wonderful things about this place, but hopefully they’re a catalyst for my Jackson readers to reflect further about what they love about our town.

I’m really excited to share my final Jackson Gold post, which I think is applicable to any place — because my favorite thing about Jackson is what makes any place special: community. It’s those dear people you surround yourself with and build community around that really make a town yours. For this post I collaborated with some dear friends and fellow bloggers (read below to find out more about these folks) on a small dinner party to celebrate the relationships we’ve built with some people that we like to keep close.

For the dinner we thought it was important to buy as many ingredients locally as possible. The point was to celebrate community, after all, and what better way than to patronize our local harvesters? I have to admit, we were a little nervous in the planning stages about whether or not we’d be able to find or afford everything we needed without making a compromising trip to Kroger. However, we not only found all of our ingredients locally (from the chicken to the basil), it was surprisingly affordable — which is a word that students and post-grads like to hear. In the end, we had a wonderfully uncompromised menu with items purchased from our local farmers market and from Green Frog Village.

Our dinner went perfectly and is by far one of my favorite memories from the summer. It felt so good to be surrounded by these friends, some of whom I don’t get to see as often as I’d like to anymore — our old roommate who relocated to Orlando at the beginning of the summer was able to attend! We all talked about life, as it is now, as well as the many, many changes we anticipate coming our way. We talked about our current jobs and prospects for future careers, about love and upcoming marriages. I think sentimentality is hard to avoid when you’re in a time of transition like many of us are, but I had to wonder as I was sitting at that table, How could I not get sentimental over these people? So many conversations, stories, hugs, and looks came back to me as I listened to my friends tell stories made bigger by their facial expressions and the images spelled out for us with their hands. So many smiles and laughs and dropped jaws. For a moment I had to sit there, quietly soaking it in, so I could remember it all, remember them. Just like that.

West Tennessee Farmers Market
91 New Market Street     Jackson TN 38301

Kristi     ●     Margaret     ●     Ryan

Meet my comrades, Kristi, Margaret, and Ryan. It was a blast working with these three on this little project of ours. Not only are they talented, but they’re also some of my closest friends. Click on their names to see more photos and video from our farmers’ market dinner party, as well as the many other treats they share on their blogs.