Tuesday 21 June 2011

A Front Porch Party!

Good morning friends! Today is the first day of summer and it's time for Rhondi's Annual Porch Party! She holds it every year and I have always loved participating. It's a beautiful opportunity to dream and to play . . . to meet up with some old friends and to make some new friends!

So come on in the porch is waiting. Bring the whole family. There's chairs enough for everyone! The men can sit in the corner, smoke and talk politics while us ladies can rock and knit and bring each other up to date on all the happenings in our families and lives over the past 12 months, as the children chase each other and the dog around the lawn.

The breeze which blows through the porch be filled with the smell of roses and sweet peas . . . petunias and geraniums. The air will be filled with the sound of children's laughter and Red Rover Red Rover as they play amongst themselves . . . and the sound of women's chatter and "You don't say!" and "Well, I never's!" We'll learn all about Uncle John's gout and Aunt Mary's newest pickle recipe, and everything in between.

We'll all chuckle at Uncle Earnie who's sleeping in the hammock over in the corner and snoring for all he's worth . . . the children tickle his nose with long strands of grass, and we watch as he tries to brush the flies away in his sleep.

Mid afternoon we'll break out the lemonade and big plates of sandwiches and sugar cookies . . . just to whet the appetite for what's coming. We'll drag out the checker boards and if we're lucky Uncle Bob will take out his harmonica and we'll sing a tune or two . . .

If we're lucky a few more will have brought their instruments as well, and we'll be treated to a sing song of beautiful proportions . . . Toes will tap to "You are my Sunshine," and "Kumbaya," and it will feel like the party we are having.

And then the feasting begins in earnest . . . trays of Grandma's Fried Chicken and big bowls of Aunt Eleanor's Potato Salad appear. There's plates of cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. Grandma's baking powder biscuits and Sophie's coleslaw and lot's more cold lemonade. We'll eat until we protest that we just can't eat any more . . . and then . . . we'll eat some more as the Aunties bring out tall cakes piled high with fluffy frosting . . . and fruit pies and . . . freshly churned ice cream . . .

Finally leaning back in our chairs, filled to bursting . . . top buttons undone on the men's trousers and pipes lit . . . we'll watch as the sun begins to deline in the western sky and the children flit off across the lawn to chase fireflies . . . and we wish that we had their energy and imaginations . . .

And then . . . as the day finally does come to an end . . . we say a prayer or two for safety, and goodbyes are shared as we bundle the sleepy children into the cars . . . shedding a tear or two, andheartfelt hugs . . . promising not to let so much time pass before we do it again . . . and knowing that we will . . . knowing too, that next year when we do meet again, a few will have left us, and a few will have joined us, but in the months and even years that follow we will have the happy memory of this day, and the comfort of knowing that we are family, and families . . . are . . . forever.

I hope you enjoyed my little porch party here today. Hop on over to Rhondi's and visit some of the other ladies. I'm sure your heart will be touched and uplifted and who knows, you may even make a new friend or two!

*Buttermilk Fried Chicken*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

Crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside!

2 cut-up fryer chickens
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup milk
canola or vegetable oil for frying

Place the chicken in a large bowl with 1 quart buttermilk, turning to coat it all over. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. The next day when you are ready to fry, remove chicken from bowl to a large tray, and let it sit on counter for 30 minutes to take chill off.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Stir together the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and cayenne in a very large bowl. In another smaller bowl combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and use a fork to mix until little lumps form throughout.

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat to 190*C/365*F. Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with the breading, pressing to help it adhere. Add the chicken to the hot oil, three to four pieces at a time. Cover the pan and fry for five to seven minutes, checking to make sure chicken isn’t getting too brown. Turn the pieces over, re-cover and cook the chicken for an additional three to five minutes more. Monitor the temperature of oil to make sure chicken doesn’t burn, and keeping in mind that the chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Remove the browned pieces to a couple of large baking sheets as you finish browning the rest of the chicken.

Once all the chicken has been browned and placed onto the baking sheets, slide them into the oven and bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until chicken cooked through, and the juices run clear when pierced by a fork.

Cooking over in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Cherry Clafoutis made with wonderful Spanish Picota cherries!


  1. Love, love, love your sharing of Rhondi's porch party!! Although it looks like you did a little redecorating from what I saw of her porch on her blog (he, he, he)...

    Oh the glory days of a good day long visit on the porch. I actually have family that owns 3 houses in a row on my block, and they have created beautiful porch settings, and sit, and visit daily. We wave as we drive by, and often stop and talk and take my grandbabies over to show how much they have grown.

    Happy first day of Summer!! Thank you for your ever sweet words when you come visit my blog braggin' on my babies, big and small!!

  2. I meant a family, not MY family.
    that live on my block.

  3. Hello dear,
    I am sorry that I missed you on the phone. I got so excited over coming to your porch party and eating all that fried chicken that I couldn't wait to call and thank you.

    Actually, it is 12:40 a.m. and I can't sleep. I didn't get the news at the doctor today that I wanted. After looking at my ultrasounds and consulting with a cancer specialist, the Dr. feels I should have surgery ASAP. They are giving my ribs and body 4 more weeks to heal. My surgery is set for 7/18 which is Erin's birthday. I can think of better ways to celebrate.... but what is...is. If there is a serious problem it is better to take care of it now .... if the cysts are harmless it will still be good to have them out and done with.
    Wish me luck.... I know you will.

    I hope you and Todd are doing well. Hugs, Lura

  4. Now that is a porch party I could drag my hubby to and he would never want to leave. Thanks for sharing the recipe, sounds great. Happy Summer.

  5. LOVE your porch musings today, Marie...*sigh*... easy to imagine such family warmth & delight. I've always wanted a big front porch, or even better one of those wrap-around verandas. We have a deck at the back of our house, it's small, not really big enough for entertaining or anything, but love having it--noting like a Sunday morning breakfast out there with sunshine! Oh, do I dare show this chicken dish to hubby?! I think I will have to... LOL! Yes, do lets make a "play date" to chat on Skype. I have some time in the afternoon on Thursday from 1-4pm, if you do. Let me know... Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS!! ((BIG HUGS))

  6. I love my porch swing and have spent many lovely hours there too. Happy Summer!

  7. Hi Marie
    What a delightful party you created, the kind of party that lives in my dreams. Thanks for joining my party. Now I'll have me some of that fried chicken please :)
    Hugs, Rhondi

  8. I loved this,, beautiful, what a gift you have,, thank you so much for visiting my blog today,, I always enjoy your comments so much,, now I would like some of that fried chicken too, please,

  9. Oh, the days of 'You Are My Sunshine...' echoing across Mother's front porch. I miss the days of yore ... yup! we all enjoyed these kinds of gatherings, but we didn't have a band or musical instruments.

    Love your front porch party.
    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~

  10. You have such a lovely porch! I love all of the rockers and the hammock, especially.
    Your food looked mighty good, wish I hadn't missed the invitation to that porch party, I love fried chicken, I may have to try your recipe.
    Thanks for the chance to enjoy!
    Hugs, Cindy

  11. Oh my goodness! You have prepared the perfect party for us. I would love to come and enjoy every second of fellowship, fun and some delicious eats.

    Thank you for sharing.

  12. I hope that this goes tonight. I lost three comment this morning !!
    Loved my visit to your porch Oh what would it be like not to have an imagination..
    Glad that you ar egetting on the cookery course as well !! I have been praying for a solution to that invitation...
    LOve Sybil xx

  13. I hope that this goes tonight. I lost three comment this morning !!
    Loved my visit to your porch Oh what would it be like not to have an imagination..
    Glad that you ar egetting on the cookery course as well !! I have been praying for a solution to that invitation...
    LOve Sybil xx

  14. What a delighful porch party yo are having. Who wouldn't want to be there with a beautiful and welcoming porch like that? I might have to race you all for that hammock though....Christine

  15. Beautiful porch photos... but what I'd relly like to have is that fried chicken!!

  16. Wow, I enjoyed reading about the porch party, the fun conversations and the awesome pictures. I remember some times like this. I think we are all to busy to just enjoy the moments. Thanks for the reminder to take more time to enjoy the minutes that we do have with one another.
    Blessings to you and thanks for the memory. I will check out Rhondi's blog.

  17. Your porch is lovely! I love everything you have done! Such a wonderful place for family & friends to gather! Thanks for sharing the Fried Chicken recipe!!
    I am your newest follower...I hope you will follow me too!
    This is my first time participating in Ms. Rhondi's Porch Party...I hope you will swing by my blog to visit my porch! Fresh ice cold lemonade will be waiting on you! :-)

    ~~~rhonda ~~~~

  18. Sorry I tryed to leve a comment and could not yesterday. Not on any one's. I loved your post.

  19. This was a wonderful post. You made the party sound so real I felt as though I was right there celebrating with you all.


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