Elsewhere of Elsewhere Cocktail Party

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a small party to welcome Caroline Mak, an Elsewhere Collaborative NEA fellow, to Greensboro. This summer, Elsewhere has done an incredible job at cultivating exceptional creatives to their summer residency program and I think it is so important to make sure they are welcome in Greensboro. I had a particular interest in Caroline because she is also a foodie – and blogger! She is known both for her installation and mixed media art and her love and expertise of soda making. Caroline and her boyfriend are the minds behind Brooklyn Soda Works – which recently was ranked #1 in a NY Magazine taste test of locally made sodas!

With a short time frame on a school night, I decided to make things very simple. I set up a little snack display of wine, homemade crackers and olives on a new antique cutting board (from the The Farmer’s Wife downtown Greensboro) next to a giant vase of gladiolus. My friend Mark at Total Wine helped me pick out two light and refreshing white wines that didn’t break the bank. We picked out a Vinho Verde and a Sauvignon Blac. Vino Verde is a Portuguese white wine that is both fruity and acidic – and has a bit of a fizz (which was a perfect fit for a fizzy drink lover). The Sauvignon Blac was a sweeter contrast to the Vinho Verde. But, as a sidenote, I’ve decided that Vino Verde is the Rose of 2010.

Along with the wine, I made a variety of homemade crackers, marinated some olives and picked up a jar of pickled okra (I had to add a bit of okra for a real Southern welcome). The cracker and olive recipes came from Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvers Handbook – which is a beautiful and inspiring book but requires a serious eye for detail (Andy came in handy at those moments). I made everything the nights before and only had to display and ice the wine before guests arrived at 6pm.

For such a warm summer night, this menu was the perfect effortless combination.

Simple School Night Welcome with Wine

  • Homemade Blue Cheese and Pecan Crackers
  • Homemade Thyme and Gruyère Crackers
  • Homemade Parmesan and Rosemary Crackers
  • Lavender Marinated Black Olives
  • Pickled Okra
  • Gazela Vinho Verde ($6.99 at Total Wine)
  • Akakena Chilean Sauvignon Blanc ($6.99 at Total Wine)


  1. wow! i need to attempt some crackers soon! impressed and how lovely, but simple, this looks. we have a new neighbor and i was saying that maybe we should invite them over for dinner once i get back to madison full time (not soon enough). but this makes me think an early evening cocktail invite might be better. miss ya!

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