BACK­YARD CHILL-OUT

Better Homes & Gardens - - Home -

When tem­per­a­tures dip well be­low freez­ing, most of us find ex­cuses to stay in­side. Th­ese Ap­ple­ton, WI, neigh­bors have the op­po­site idea. Wel­come to the coolest din­ner party around.

Twenty years ago, Charles McKee stood un­der a win­ter full moon on the back­yard skat­ing rink he’d cre­ated for his four daugh­ters and had a bril­liant idea. “It was the most Zen gar­den feel­ing out on the ice,” he says. “I thought, Wouldn’t it be fun to throw a party here?” The next month he gath­ered 30 neigh­bors for a Moon Over Ice (skat­ing) party, and a tra­di­tion was born.

Gen­er­a­tions of friends and neigh­bors now take turns or­ga­niz­ing the event. A roar­ing fire in­side and a chiminea near the hockey benches ward off chills. But the point of the party is to take a break from be­ing in­side dur­ing the long win­ter months, spend time skat­ing to­gether, and en­joy a meal with friends. The group doesn’t merely em­brace the cold, they cel­e­brate it. Can­dles twin­kle in DIY ice lanterns, branches stand in snow-filled vases, and Cham­pagne chills in pow­dery drifts. On the menu, if it isn’t on the rocks (chilled shrimp or aqua­vit served in tiny glasses made of ice) then it’s win­ter white— white lasagna and White Rus­sians. The McKees lay down thick vin­tage rugs over part of their rink then set out a long line of tables there. Guests skate the rink perime­ter un­til it’s time to take a seat for din­ner.

CRAN­BER­RIES,EV­ER­GREENCLIP­PINGS, ANDJU­NIPER BERRIESARE FROZENINTO THELU­MI­NAR­IAS.

RUGS CRE­ATEA STA­BLE SUR­FACEFOR THECHAIRS ANDTABLES BROUGHTBY GUESTS.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.