Enchanted Porch Party for Two

porch4 Compared to many — or dare I say ‘most’ people — we’re a bit on the strange side. We rarely go out on Friday and Saturday nights. We detest standing in line for 45 minutes to dine. With a few exceptions, we’d  rather forgo the movie theater and wait for the DVD to arrive via Netflix. There’s something about comfy clothes, comfy couch and the ability to pause a movie at whim or a snack break, that appeals to us. We love to travel, we enjoy a fine meal, but we’re perfectly content to stay at home and create our own ideal atmosphere … Which leads me to the porch. The transformation began on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was warm, the pumpkins were smooth and bright and regal, and my husband had returned with a truckload of cornstalks. Please pardon me while I insert one note here. [Do not steal cornstalks from a local farmer in the fall. It’s true, there are millions of them in his or her field, but they will be missed. Stop by and ask to buy a few — chances are they may be given. Or, check out a local farmer’s market. They may have ready-made corn shocks for sale.]

porchbefore The porch wasn’t particularly inviting to begin with. As you can see above, the seasonal decorations were sorely lacking. With a few sweeps of the broom, the addition of aforementioned corn stalks and twine string, and my pile of pumpkins, the front porch was quickly transformed into an autumn oasis perfectly suited for date night. All we had to do was choose a rocking chair and light the candles …

porch5 Be honest. Isn’t this better than driving 25 miles to stand in line for a meal? We think so. You don’t have to agree with me. Like I said, I realize we’re not normal! My parents are very particular about their Saturday night dates and wouldn’t give them up for anything — and that’s perfectly fine. I guess at this point in our lives it’s just easier to make a pizza and turn a movie on for the kids, then retreat to the porch for a couple of hours with a little wine, delicious meal we made together, and always intriguing conversation. In my book that’s the best a girl could ask for!

porch3 Preparing the porch for a party of two — and for larger gatherings throughout the season — isn’t difficult. Think quick, simple and I’ll be honest … cheap. I began with pumpkins and cornstalks, and then went on a foraging trip. Goldenrod is plentiful in every field, ditch and weed patch around here this time of year. You’ll also find orchard grass and if you’re lucky, some flowers from your own beds that lend themselves to a fall arrangement. What I’m saying is this:

An autumn party for two on the porch.

  • Gather lovely weeds and put them in a crock, vase, jar or some kind of container
  • Throw a tablecloth on the patio table. Don’t have one? Use a sheet or blanket
  • Arrange pumpkins, cornstalks, gourds or Indian corn — whatever you have on hand
  • Light candles — these are key to the whole shebang. Candles make everything better!

porch6

  • Gather a few snacks like cheese and crackers, fruit or even an entire homemade meal. Busy? Order takeout and serve it on real dishes. I’ll list a few of my favorite homemade date night meals at the bottom of the post.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Sit, relax and talk. Together.

porch8 I can’t follow this with long walks on the beach, but I will say the pasture is awfully nice this time of year! And now, so is the porch. We may not be in our ‘rockin’ years’ quite yet, but we’re making a mighty fine early attempt! Give it a try … date nights at home with a little inspiration from the great outdoors!

Suggested recipes:

4 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Sally September 29, 2014 (1:11 pm)

    Love the overhead candle idea!

    He’s smiling!!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko September 30, 2014 (2:14 pm)

      Finally … he must have known he wasn’t the focus! lol

  • comment-avatar
    Robyn September 30, 2014 (9:03 am)

    Fall decor is fun and yours is beautiful, Jennifer.

    When the chopper got done with the first corn field, I trotted right out to get some stalks from the edge of the field for a couple places in the yard. I wish I had some pumpkins.

    Yeah to you for taking the time to decorate, set the mood and make a special meal for you and your Farmer.

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko September 30, 2014 (2:13 pm)

      Thank you so much! I have to admit I haven’t been in the mood to decorate, but this little project got my creative juices flowing. Happy fall to you and yours!