A 50th Celebration


On June 1st, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  The Carmack “5” held a special party in honor of their parents at our home.  Besides hosting the open house, I had the great pleasure of planning and preparing the menu.  Since my Mom is from England, and my Dad is from Texas, I thought it would be fun to include favorite foods from both of their “homelands”.  Here is what we served, with a few side comments and pictures of the table.


Norm and Jo’s 50th Wedding Anniversary
Buffet Menu


Cheese Platter

  • featuring Montgomery’s White Cheddar from England, accompanied by English walnuts and Carr’s crackers
  • featuring Birdville Reserve cheese from Granbury, Texas, accompanied by Confituras (Central Texas) Blackberry Jam and Glazed Pecans
  • Once again, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop scores!  I was especially excited to find a Texas cheese made in Granbury, since some of my relatives live there.
  • the Blackberry Jam (with a hint of lime) from Confituras was about the best recipe we’ve tried from them yet.  


Fire-Roasted Salsa with blue corn tortilla chips-  This is the salsa I’ve blogged about before, made from a recipe by Rachel Ray.

Deviled Eggs
Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

  • featuring a sharp Texas Cheddar and a White English Cheddar
  • Both of these dishes were made by my good friend Chef Mike Coughlan.  He runs a personal catering service, Specialty of the House Catering. (specialtyofthehouse@gmail.com).  Both were delicious and well received by our guests.


Roast Beef Sandwiches accompanied by a creamy horseradish sauce.  I enlisted a little help from HEB to prepare these silver dollar sized sandwiches. 

Cornish Pasties with Major Grey’s Chutney- My Dad is a big fan of these “British” hand pies.  He loves to make them as well.  I used my cream cheese pastry recipe for the crust, assembled the pies, then froze them.  The morning of the party, I put them out to defrost, then baked them for about 25 minutes.  A great make-ahead entrée.

Ham on Southern Biscuits – accompanied by a variety of mustards and pineapple preserves.  Homemade biscuits piled high with HoneyBaked Ham – yum!


Texas Caviar– a legendary black-eyed pea salad created by legendary Texas cook Helen Corbitt.  I had never prepared this recipe before, but it is going on my list of go-to side dishes for the summer.  This spicy, cold salad was a favorite of my Aunt Maudene.


Watermelon Basket featuring a variety of fresh fruit.  My Dad showcased his culinary artistry with this dish.  Take a look at the picture – yes, those are watermelon longhorns on top!

Strawberries with Mint Whipped Cream- It wouldn’t be a British spread without an ode to this famous pair.  I especially love my cream thick, but still pourable.  Next time I will increase the intensity of the mint (I don’t think the mint from my garden has the same potency as the mint you can purchase at the grocery store).

Shortbread Cookies- This recipe will also be joining the “make again” list.  With just three ingredients and a long shelf life, it was an easy treat to prepare ahead of time.

Peach Cobbler– made with Fredericksburg peaches.  Chef Mike’s cobbler made our house smell like a little piece of heaven all day!  We were happy to see that there were “leftovers” of this dish, so we could enjoy an extra serving the day after (with BlueBell Homemade vanilla ice cream, of course).

Cake!- My sister did a great job selecting the cakes for our celebration.  Take a look at this awesome cake decorated with a photo from my parents’ wedding:


So sweet!  My Dad told me a few days later that he just couldn’t bring himself to eat the piece with my Mom’s face on it.

We also got a small German Chocolate Cake (my Dad’s favorite). 



Both cakes were fabulous.  Here is a link to the bakery website: Ann’s Kitchen

With over 30 family and friends from all over the state of Texas attending, it was a grand day, and a wonderful celebration for two very special people.

We love you Mom and Dad!!



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