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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

November Book Club Fall Fare

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The November meeting of the Monday Book Club met at my house for lunch and discussion of this month's book selection.  Preparing for the book club gathering, I wondered about what to serve that says Fall and thought about how to decorate the deck for the season.

What food and decor will welcome friends in a special way?  What things will make the day memorable? What to serve and to display that will create lasting memories of our times together as good friends eating, laughing, and enjoying a good book together?  How to create snapshots in our minds that we will lovingly recall?

For many parts of the country November is damp, windy, and cool, even cold, and calls for hot drinks like apple cider to warm everyone.

But not in north Texas the first Monday in this November.  Daybreak was full of sunshine with promises of temperatures in the mid to high 70s by noon.

Drinks changed from hot to cold.  Easy to do with apple cider.  No  H O T  apple cider on the menu for the the book club.

Instead, C O L D apple cider served outside on the deck under the shade trees was a refreshing drink with a seasonal taste, a taste of Fall. 

White mums, purple and yellow violas, a spiral ivy, and oak leaves with acorns helped set the season as Fall despite the warm weather.  An old Singer sewing machine base topped with glass made an excellent outdoor drink station.  Just today I saw an old sewing machine base for sale at a local flea market, priced at $39. 

Cool weather and a shady spot are perfect growing conditions for the variegated spiral ivy that added a touch of green to the drink station table.  

An old leaky outdoor water faucet with a green crusty patina was replaced with a new faucet and now helps hold down the paper napkins in case of breezes. 

Perfect outdoor appetizers that say Fall are grapes and cheese.  Plus they are easy to serve... no forks or plates required.  And for friends who are trying to eat healthy, fresh fruit is always a welcome appetizer. 

Looking for cheese to go with grapes?  Consider Apple Smoked Gouda cheese that added another traditional Fall taste, apples, to the book club gathering. 

Hot artichoke dip and bite-size tortilla chips were also easy to serve outside on an old weathered redwood bench that served as a coffee table. 

Table centerpieces are sometimes in the way of the food and conversation.  Try using simple potted olive trees like these for adding a little greenery to a serving bench without crowding the food or blocking conversation.   

Ten book club members snacked on the appetizers and cold apple cider while I finished the last-minute lunch details.  After lunch inside, we gathered again on the deck for the discussion of Sydney Chambers and The Perils of the Night by James Runcie.  Many of our books are thought-provoking, socially-conscious selections, but this month's book was easy reading that left me with an uplifting feeling, similar to the Mitford series written by Jan Karon.  

Monday was a perfect Fall day spent with long-time friends who always make me smile and who always create snapshots in my mind to recall. 

See the following for additional views of the new deck. 

Can you believe that in only three weeks we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, and 
then it will be time to begin decorating for Christmas? 

Mark your calendars for Christmas inspiration from all over Texas 
when over 20 Texas bloggers share a window into Christmas in Texas

Stacey at Poofing the Pillows
is hosting
December 7-11, 2015

I was thrilled when Stacey invited me to be part of this 
first-ever Christmas blog hop of over 20 Texas bloggers, and 
am honored to be on the first day line-up on 
Monday, December 7, 2015. 

Several of the bloggers have shared their plans with all of us, 
and this is going to be a great Christmas blog hop! 
You don't want to miss any of the posts 
that include decorations, crafts, recipes, and even a fashionista. 

Watch for more details in the weeks to come. 

Please join me at these inspiring sites...