John Schwartz, a member of the host committee, welcomed guests with wine at the Summer Solstice Dinner at the Knoxville Botanical Garden.
It wasn’t too long ago that you didn’t hear much about the solstice. And when it was discussed, it was just a mention in the weather report about the longest day or something. The only solstice “celebrations” you heard about conjured vague images of Wiccans and other assorted pagans dancing around in a field.
But, it appears that solstice celebrations have now gone mainstream. To such an extent, as a matter of fact, that Alan and I attended two solstice dinners last month which were fundraisers for two different gardens in our community. And I didn’t see a single Wiccan at either of them!
Several posts ago, the Blue Streak covered a solstice supper that was held to benefit Beardsley Community Farm, an urban demonstration site that promotes food security and sustainable urban agriculture. (Click here for that post.)
The second we attended was the fourth annual Summer Solstice Dinner benefiting and located at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. Both were delightful.
One of the longest days of the year provided plenty of time for an outdoor evening meal at the Knoxville Botanical Garden.
Jim Richards, executive director of Knoxville Botanical Garden, offers guests cucumber and salmon canapes.
Chef Rex Bradford Jones of Bradford Catered Events was in charge of the fabulous dinner.
Allyn Schwartz, posing here with Alan Carmichael, was chair of the committee that planned this fun event.
Maureen Dunn McBride, left, with Julia Bentley.
Victoria Cape, left, and Angie Campbell.
From left, Alice Woody, Donna Maxwell and James Anderson.
Michael and Judith Foltz.
Elaine Clark, left, offers goat cheese and tomato bruschetta with balsamic glaze to Pamela Chips.
Gary Bentley, left, with Dan Chips.
From left, Mickey Mallonee, Dorothy Smith and Debra Thacker.
From left, Rick Fox, David Williamson and Ralph Cianelli.
Jeff Talman, left, and Alan Carmichael.
Carol Evans, left, with Georgiana Vines.
Betty and John Hanes.
Anna Ford and Rick Fox.
From left, Kathy Brennan, Lois Findlan and Aggie Burrick.
It was a beautiful cocktail scene.
But soon it was time to sit down.
The first course was these gorgeous horseradish deviled eggs.
And Tuscan bread salad, which also was fantastic.
I belief Ralph Cianelli would agree with that assessment.
John Craig with Kelley Segars.
Main course was beef brisket with blackberry-peach salsa.
It was accompanied by grilled garden vegetables tossed in basil and olive oil, garlic smashed red potatoes with Greek yogurt and fresh herbs and lemon green beans. (Although I guess I took this photo before the beans were added!)
The focaccia from Flour Head Bakery was out of this world.
Bob Wilson and Annette Anderson.
Joan and Victor Ashe.
Former Knox County Commissioner Wanda Moody, Joan’s aunt.
Marcus Shirley provided beautiful dinner music.
Joan with her friend, Michael McNeely.
Fran Scheidt, left, with Nancy Campbell.
Emily and James Anderson.
Cathy and Mark Hill.
Chris and Sheila Hill.
Ann White, left, with Marlene and Jack O’Hanlon.
Dessert was an awesome sweet potato and mulberry bread pudding with Cruze Farm ice cream.
Nancy Brennan Strange sang us some sweet after dinner songs.
And night was gently falling as we left. I’m liking these solstice celebrations!
Here are a few seconds of Nancy singing “The Tennessee Waltz.”
Beautiful!!! Wish we could have been there although I now feel like I was!!!
I had a good time despite the withering heat.
Thanks for joining us again, Cynthia and Alan! The food was fabulous, the company was, as well! I loved every minute of it!!
Sara: I think you all would have loved it.
Alan: I guess you have to expect that in late June.
Allyn: Glad you could enjoy it. You sure did a great job.
I was so sorry to be out of town for this fabulous event this year. Thank you for catching me up with all the fun, Cynthia.
Jackie: We did miss you. But, judging from Facebook, you had a pretty fantastic trip!
This is one of my favorite parties–first time I’ve missed it. I hope to be there next year. From the photos, it looks like it was as fabulous as always.
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