Last week, we had a barn party. We had been talking about having one for three years now and decided that this was the year. A picture in a Country Living magazine of a table set up with hay bales for chairs in the main aisle of a barn was the inspiration for our party. We started working on it a week before so we didn’t have to do everything the last minute. B-u-t, we still had a ton to do and were busy running around getting everything done right up until guests arrived. Of course. That just seems to be how we roll. And we couldn’t ask the horses to quit pooping for a week, so what’s a girl (or two) to do!
Also, since it was set for September 23rd, we thought it would be perfect fall weather, and a perfect way to celebrate the beginning of the season. So we envisioned cool, crisp air and thought a soup bar would be an easy way to feed a lot of people. Wrong. Mother Nature did not cooperate at all! It was 90 degrees and hotter than heck. Who would have thought?! We sure didn’t, since that kind of weather is extremely rare in the summer here in Michigan, let alone late September.
Well, all week we swept, vacuumed, dusted, knocked down cobwebs, strung lights (zillions!), hauled tables and chairs, decorated, and followed behind the horses with a manure rake to pick up every little poop (okay, not quite, but almost). All while we sweated our bras off and wondered if it would all be worth it. And despite the heat, it surely was. For one, the barn was cleaner than our houses last weekend.
We also had a great turnout! It was so fun hosting the party at the barn with the horses being nosy and hanging out by the fence checking everything out. Adults and kids alike enjoyed each other’s company visiting with one another and eating lots of good food. We made six different soups that were all delicious…chili, taco soup, stuffed green pepper soup, cheesy potato, chicken noodle, and white chicken chili. We had bread, cornbread, cheese, and crackers. And between us, Kendal, and our mom, we had a huge dessert table! Mom made peanut butter fudge and Kendal made apple crisp. Mardi made sweet and salty Chex mix, almond bars, scotcheroos, sugar cookie bars, and pecan pie bars. Megan made monster cookie bars, smore’s brownies, and southern pecan praline cake. We also had some friends bring dessert, too! It was like dessert heaven!
We set up a craft table outside for kids, which stayed busy pretty much the whole night. The older boys played football and the older girls helped out with the little kids. Chris drove the tractor and gave hayrides through the woods and down the road. And once the sun went down, we were all much more comfortable. The trees down the drive were lit up, as well as the inside of the barn, and it just looked so pretty. We clipped hydrangeas from our mom’s yard and they made the prettiest centerpieces, especially since they were free! A clipped branch from the woods strung with fairy lights provided decoration for the food tables, along with little baskets of apples and cattails. Cornstalks adorned the barn inside and out. And the string lights hanging from the ceiling provided just enough light to keep it festive. I wish we had beautiful pictures to show you all, but we were so busy visiting that we failed to get great shots. You’ll just have to use your imagination, as these pictures just don’t do it justice.
Whew! You probably weren’t interested in all of the little details, so forgive us. We are just having fun reliving it, especially since it might never happen again! Okay, we’re joking…we loved it. We just haven’t quite forgotten how much work it was yet! Give us a year!
In case you are interested in any of the recipes we used, see below for links to any we used online.
No-flour Monster Cookie Bars by Together as Family make a whole jelly roll pan, so they are great for a crowd!
Fudgy S’mores Brownies by Mandy’s Recipe Box…I cheated and used a brownie mix, but they were still delish!
Southern Pecan Praline Cake by The Country Cook uses a cake mix, so easy peasy!
The Best Pecan Pie Bars by Rockrecipes.com
Almond Bars by Sometimeshomemade.com
The Best Sweet Cornbread from thegirlwhoateeverything.com
And stay tuned for a post on the soup recipes we used, since soup season is finally here…even if it wasn’t the day of the party!
Thanks for reading to the end, friends! Happy Fall to you all!
Megan and Mardi