This weekend I was catching up on some reading and I came upon an article in the May (told you I was caching up) issue of Country Living Magazine. The article featured an event that stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking about a bygone area of "socials".
The article was called, "The Red Barn Roundup" and celebrates the work of two friends in Nashville, TN. Once a month during the spring to fall months, these ladies host a Sunday Social. Each "social" is based around the idea that it's hard to see your family / friends these days. Everyone has a thousand commitments and little time. After coming to the conclusion that Sunday afternoon's seemed to be the only time that worked for most people, a concept was born. A potluck party from 3pm - 6pm one Sunday a month.
Brainchild of Kathryn Johnson (red dress) and Allison Marusic (seen in the blue dress) who hosts the event at her fun "ranch-style" home, everyone is welcome - as long as you are the friend of a friend. Otherwise, it's pretty much fair game. The entire concept of great food, lively country music and friendly bonding is a huge draw for approx. 100 people each event. The ladies try to keep things simple on themselves by doing evites, setting up the tables / chairs and arranging for the entertainment. Happily, Nashville provides an endless supply of amazing musicians who get in on the fun as well. The rest is up to the guests.
Initially, attendees weren't really bringing entree worthy dishes (a few too many chips & salsa) but, after some kind nudging by their hosts, the event has become a way for foodie friends to share their talent & let the food shine. Because the event is staged as more of an open house - new food is constantly arriving as people come & go. There is always something new to add to the ever changing table. They never fear about running out --- someone is always going to show up in the last hour.
Another element the ladies take care of is the live entertainment. The local Nashville music scene provides an endless source of great musicians. And, while they are not paid --- tips are GREATLY appreciated. Not to mention the opportunity to nosh on some great food. There never seems to be a problem finding unique talent.
I love this idea so much. The thought of putting out a call for all your friends & family is such a great way to establish a sense of community. It's a great way to stop & enjoy your life --- while having some great food. What's not to love. All credit to these amazing ladies & their forethought. Now, how many chairs do I have?