Summertime Cruising

My cousin Al invited us to a cruise party this past weekend.  Wondering what a cruise party is? It’s a pool side party serving up a smorgasbord of food all day long – minus the ship.  We couldn’t have asked for a prettier day.  The sky was blue as far as the eye could see, the pool’s glistening waves tempting us to jump in; and the occasional cotton candy cloud rolling by giving just enough shade when we needed it most.   Life is SWEET!

Summertime - Pool - Palm Tree - Patio

Al certainly picked the perfect time to have a cruise party – smack in the middle of a heatwave.   It’s been hot! It’s been hazy!  It’s been humid!

There’s somethings about Al you need to know… he throws the best parties!  I rarely miss one unless I’m out of town.   The man is brilliant when it comes to cooking and menu planning —  decorating and designing are second nature to him.  He built the fireplace below and restored much of the furniture in his home.  I adore his home with it’s cozy and inviting presence, you feel as if your wrapped in a warm cashmere throw, it’s beautiful and easy to relax in.

Home Decor - Canning

There’s also a garden and greenhouse.  Did I mention it’s a very large and beautiful garden.  Filled with incredible luscious vegetables that we consumed for dinner.  I have dibs on the pumpkin blossoms!

Greenhouse Garden

I’m willing to share the cucumbers, leek flowers, herbs and loofah gourd… really!  Just think of all the wonderful recipes you can create to eat and pamper yourself, like making your own loofah or leek flower soup.

Cucumbers - Leek Flowers - Loofah Gourd

Here’s whats left from last years harvest of canning.   I’ll have some chili peppers please!


The menu Al planned included appetizers like chips and homemade salsa, tomato caprese, mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, antipasto salad and grilled shrimp.

Grilled Shrimp

Lunch was served buffet style with potato, pasta and cole slaw salads along side an assortment of sandwiches on homemade bread. Gawd was that bread good!

Homemade Bread

Al was hard at work on this dinner menu marinating the pork in a lemon and parsley sauce.  The chicken and beef in a teriyaki and Italian sauce while they rested within mason jars for 24 hours, rotating them every 8 hours.  Dinner was exciting, we got to thread our own shish-kabobs!


There was so much good food that I’m posting one recipe only, and that was the party goers favorite  “Pork Lion Shish-Kabobs”!

Here’s what you need to marinate the pork lion:

3 lbs pork lion, trim fat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1 tbs parsley finely chopped

2  tsp thyme

1/4  tsp ground pepper

Place all the ingredients together in a bag, jar or container mixing well.  Refrigerate and allow to rest for 24 hours.  Heat grill, thread skewers with pork and desired vegetables — we used red – green – yellow peppers, leeks, mushrooms, broccoli and tomato’s.  Place shish-kabobs on grill, thoroughly cook until meat has reached tender perfection.

I think you’ll  love these.

After filling ourselves with all the incredibly good food, good coffee and yummy brownies, we ended the evening with a midnight swim.

We Don't Skinny Dip We Chunky Dunk!

If you would like to find out more about Al and his business you can visit his site at The Border Group.  Here you can learn more about local real estate, home staging and decorating and other ideas to make you home more beautiful.

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