Sixty-four friends and family members, five delectable meals, and a weekend party at Skylands -- when it comes to celebrating her birthday, Martha doesn't do small.
The spacious stone terrace on the south side of Skylands was strewn with lights and set for dinner for 65, with round tables and wicker chairs.
The weekend officially began on Friday with a lunch of cheese, fruit, and cookies. There was no set arrival time, and since people were coming from everywhere -- by car, by plane, and some, by boat -- the food was set up in the butler's pantry so guests could help themselves as they arrived.
The food, prepared by the Skylands cook staff (Martha's dear friend Pierre Schaedelin headed the weekend effort), had been meticulously vetted and planned. On an island, one cannot leave anything to chance since supplies and variety of offerings are limited. Much of Friday night’s menu was cooked outdoors, on the grill, in a La Caja China roasting box, and in the stable kitchen. Here, a hotel pan holds all the utensils required to grill a dinner for 30.
Faux bois, French for "false wood," is a major theme at Skylands and was incorporated into the table settings: the tablecloths were green faux bois; the woodland arrangements were created in some of Martha's antique French containers; and the menu cards, place cards, and table cards were printed with faux-bois patterns.
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