Use Up Garden Vegetables the Fun Way – Throw a Party!

Dulles, VA July 31, 2004 -- "While you're planning this year's garden, consider planning a garden party to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Lifelong friends Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband team up in this book to present their ideas and recipes for garden parties….The watercolor and acrylic paintings of garden scenes and still lifes – both authors are professional artists – add to the charm of this book."
Lori Kranz, The Bloomsbury Review, March/ April 2004

"The two friends, artists, writers, lifelong friends - have authored Gathering in the Garden, a book of ideas and recipes for garden parties, illustrated with richly colored paintings by each of them and sprinkled with stories of their friendship that offer a glimpse into a simpler, more innocent time."
Gloria Ballard, Tennessean, December 14, 2003

For gardeners, July and August mean that their vegetable harvest is ready, and many people are desperate to find ways to use up their garden's bounty. Don't worry – you don't need to resort to leaving boxes of tomatoes and radishes on your neighbor's front stoop in the middle of the night. In Gathering in the Garden: Recipes and Ideas for Garden Parties, lifelong friends Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband show gardeners how to use up over-abundant crops by throwing garden parties.

"We don't profess to be expert chefs or party planners," say Shelley and Elaine, "but we do know that with a little time and imagination, you can put good friends and good food together for a memorable gathering."

Gathering in the Garden is a unique collection of garden parties. Each party comes with delicious menus, recipes, and creative special effect ideas that transform ordinary events into unforgettable gatherings. The recipes center around the bounty of the home garden and make lavish use of its produce. This gift book is illustrated by the authors' watercolors.

An example of a garden party featured in Gathering in the Garden is the Tomato Taste-Off, which Shelley and Elaine describe as "a celebration that heralds her short-lived reigm, highlighting a luscious, red ripe collection of recipes that glorify and epitomize the very essence of summer's heart and soul – the tomato!" To throw a Tomato Taste-Off garden party:

1) Decorate the table with tomato product cans. "Group together different sizes of cans of
tomato products that have labels showing big, ripe, red tomatoes. They can be empty and
used as vases for summer vases, or unopened and stacked in an interesting way in the
center of the food table."
2) Make tomato place cards. "Glue place cards to toothpicks and stick them in a cherry tomato
to be put beside each place setting."
3) Have guests bring their favorite tomato recipes and hold a contest. "Have all your guests bring copies of the recipe they brought to sample for the other guests to take home in a folder provided by the hostess. Let your guests be official judges of the recipes. Or, have ‘the biggest tomato contest with a state fair blue ribbon."
4) Serve tomato-based recipes. Shelley and Elaine's favorite tomato dishes featured in Gathering in the Garden include tomato green chili dip, cheesy tomato melts, fried green tomatoes, grilled vegetables with tomatoes, basil tomato tart, baked tomato casserole, and classic tomato sandwiches.
Baked Tomato Casserole

5 - 6 medium ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup each, red and green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup sweet onion, chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup herbed dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in skillet, add onion and peppers and cook just until tender. (Do not overcook). Remove skillet from heat, add breadcrumb mixture, salt and pepper. In an oblong baking dish, place sliced tomatoes on bottom. Top with half of crumb mixture and Parmesan cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tomatoes, crumb mixture, and Parmesan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband are life-long friends, writers, artists, and gardeners. Shelley has been a full time working artist for over 25 years. Her watercolor and oil portrait commissions have been requested by the Governor of Tennessee (a permanent mural in the Governor's Mansion), Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, and her equestrian portraits hang in the Marriott Convention Center in Nashville. Shelley is a signature member of the Southern Watercolor Society. Her watercolors have been shown in national competitions in which she has won national awards. She currently teaches art at the Gallery of Franklin in Tennessee where her work can be seen. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Elaine has painted professionally for 15 years. Essays about her home have been published in Williamson Homes and Lifestyles magazines. She has taught art in several private schools and given private lessons to adults and children. Elaine lives in Franklin, Tennessee.

Gathering in the Garden: Recipes and Ideas for Garden Parties
by Shelley Snow and Elaine Husband
Cloth, ISBN 1-892123-93-2, 6 x 6, 143 pp. + 60 watercolors, $14.95
Publication Date: October 2003

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