In fact, we weren’t saying it was Liz’s birthday. She was very specific. No gifts, no cake, no singing. No mentioning her age. Just cocktails by the pool, followed by an evening BBQ. She and Patrick even invited everyone to stay overnight, which meant I finally got that tour of the house I had been hoping for. Liz and Patrick are caretakers for a 13-bedroom estate that sits on 370 acres of land and features a pool, pond and manicured garden. It is really something to see.
Liz is the type of person who puts thought and effort into everything she does, and the fact that her resumé includes jobs at art galleries and art museums in the States clearly shows in the style with which she does them. Whether it’s funky martini-glass markers (so easy to lose track of which one is yours), beautiful napkins, a cool apron, elegant candlesticks or coffee cups shaped like tulips, a meal at her house is hip and fun from beginning to end. A regular person might make sure to have lots of ingredients on hand to make fun drinks for a party. Liz does this, then goes through her drink book, makes a list of all the drinks she can make with what she has, types it into the computer, and prints out a drinks menu on bright pink paper for her guests to peruse. See what I mean? Style.
After our poolside cocktail party, we enjoyed a light, fresh, summer meal of barbequed corn on the cob, fried green tomatoes, quiche lorraine, fougasse (a kind of flat bread) topped with chevre and thyme, green salad and sliced melon. Dessert was a round of grasshoppers, which, in case you were not a frequent patron of Wisconsin supper clubs in the late 70s, are chocolate and mint liqueurs blended with vanilla ice cream. Yummy.
After dinner, the music came on, the cocktails continued to flow and Liz and Patrick brought out the “dress-up” box. Full of fun wigs, hats and costumes, I wish I could tell you that it belonged solely to their three children, but its contents are actually for kids of all ages. Somehow, it’s just more fun drinking a cosmopolitan as a redhead with a black feather boa. Don’t ask me why.