Sunday, October 6, 2013

Americana Party Platters

July in October anyone?  I figured if we can do Christmas in July, why not???  Actually, our family just celebrated a last and final military promotion for our Soldier this past week and in doing so we decorated.  Well Halloween decor just didn't seem right, so we held off on that and gave it the ole Americana punch.  Just thought while it was still fresh in my mind, I would share it with you.  

Seems hard to believe that we are celebrating his final promotion.  Twenty-two years in the military have gone by so quickly, and yet we have some very memorable moments as we look back.  Here are a few things that stick out the most. Flight school graduation with a small 6 week old newborn and a 5 year old.  Skiing with Special Olympics every Saturday while stationed in Denver for a winter.  Having a Duke helicopter pilot tell my husband that he can't go with our newborn son when he was first born and not breathing well at Fort Bragg and being transported to Duke, but then needed to know how the Fort Bragg landing lights worked. (Never forget moments like those).  Walking my daughter to school on 9-12-2001 and noticing how overnight the neighborhood had changed and we not only had armed guards on every street corner, but also at our on post elementary school. (A very unforgettable day.)  Spending the rest of 2001 wondering when he would deploy. (He never did that year, but has definitely gone since.)  Getting the opportunity to homeschool while sitting on the beach in Hawaii.  Driving home in the middle of the night after dropping him off at his first long deployment with tears streaming down my face, so much so the guard at our gate checking ID's asked me if I was going to be OK.   Getting the dreaded call about 3 months later that he is injured and coming home early for surgery.  I'll never forget how friends become family when needed in the military, and we had just that while hubby went through a long healing process.  I'll also never forget my oldest son's second high school graduation that was brought together by some of his classmates, since he suffered a seizure during his real graduation and didn't remember it. (Good kids brought together almost 200 people for the 2nd grad walk 3 days later!)  Another deployment, but this time my most memorable memory was the Welcome Home Ceremony.  It was great to get to see those hangar doors open and have him walk in with his Battalion.  SO proud.  A few memorable Military Balls, Ceremonies, Functions, and Parties along the way.  Next deployment and this time my most memorable moment was my daughter graduating from High School and my Soldier watching via a telecast from Afghanistan.  Her school also provided Skype services so that as soon as she walked she got to chat with him via the computer at the graduation ceremony.  Not as good as being there, but at least it was pretty cool too!  Enjoyed a great R&R too this deployment that took our daughter to college after spending a week on the beach.  Add to those memories, many moves to 8 different states,  6 different jobs for me, 3 children, 5 dogs(not all at once) and a whole lot of Murphy's has never been boring!  Even with all the ups and downs, I'd chose to do it all over again.  :)
Taken Oct 2013 just before our ceremony this past week.  

OK...back to the party platters.  Here are a few photos of what we put together.  
TIP:  If you don't have a tray large enough for your fruit trays, just find a heavy duty piece of cardboard or a thin piece of wood.  Cover with tinfoil and arrange your fruit how you like.  
I like to place large leafy green lettuce on the bottom under everything to add a nice base before placing my fruit/veggies on my tray.   (Yes I photographed the Veggie Tray above before we added the dip...just imagine Ranch or your favorite French Onion in the center bowl.)
TIP:  When arranging fruit, I usually clean, cut, & chop it all first.  Then take my time placing where I want.  But honestly, you can't go wrong.  Fruit is so pretty and the more the merrier.  
TIP:  When using Apples on your fruit tray, as you cut place in a bowl and pour Orange Juice over and cover and shake up good.  This will help them from turning brown.  
We also kept our cookie platter matching our fruit/veggie trays by covering this tray also with tinfoil silver.  It worked with our Americana theme.  And was great for a quick clean up.  
This was the kitchen during the prep time.  Lot's of flags and red, white, & blue!  
 We had lots of tables in the house with food on them.  Our centerpieces were these simple fresh flower arrangements.  Since blue flowers aren't too easy to find naturally, we decided to dye the water a deep blue and place a blue & white ribbon around the vases.  
It added to the Americana feel.  And we also had fun with our Patriotic Pumpkins that greeted everyone on our front steps as they came to the door.  
Click here for step by step instructions
We also cooked a Pulled Pork on our Big Green Egg for this event.  It was a huge hit with nothing left over.  I haven't yet shared that recipe on the blog, but I am sure we will soon.  I have many Big Green Egg recipes on my Recipe Page.  Look no further for Big Green Egg Tips and Tricks.

A few Halloween Ideas HERE:

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  1. It looks like a lovely celebration -- God bless our military families!

    Thanks for the Twitter follow! Looking forward to checking more of your blog out.