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"The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction." - Laurie Colwin

To "gather" means:

1. To bring together into one group, collection or place; collect.

2. To pick, or scoop up.

3. To increase gradually and steadily.

4. To assemble or collect as for an effort.

5. To come together around a central point; assemble.

Yesterday, as my husband and I were enjoying a lovely salad on the porch of my parents Summer Home in Birmingham, the door bell rang and a neighbor came over to invite my parents to a neighborhood dinner party. What a better way to welcome someone to the neighborhood than to invite them over for food and fellowship! I was so encouraged by the kind gesture that I had to pull together a post on easy entertaining and the gift of gathering! Enjoy!!

1. Eat Simply and Eat Together. Something magical happens when family and friends gather at the dinner table - no matter what's on the menu - even if its a burger. Check out Brooklyn Suppers recipe for Cheeseburgers with Quick-Pickled Onions & Avocado and invite your neighbors over to celebrate Summer on the grill!

2. Consider serving a Signature Summer Drink! Try Whole Foods version of Fresh Cherry Limeade and wow your guests with this easy and delicious recipe!

3. Homemade Salsa won't disappoint. Ali, from Gimme Some Oven has a fabulous 5 Ingredient Mango Salsa and I bet you can get almost every ingredient on Saturday at the Farmers Market at Pepper Place! Pepper Place is celebrating 15 Years of "Knowing Thy Farmer" so grab the family and make a morning out of it!

4. Save on flowers, spend on candles, specifically candles that ward off bugs!  Try these potted citronella candles from Martha Stewart.com. Not only will these candles set the mood for a more intimate night on the porch, but will help keep those unwanted guests away.

Photo Credit: DuCastel Photography | Real Life Wedding: Abby & Joe | Floral & Decor: Lindsay Bean & Adorned Floral