It's gathering season party people! If you're like us, you're hanging those stockings on the chimney with with care, clinking glasses and campaigning to stay on Santa's nice list... most of the time. We were lucky enough to speak to Jenny Leddy of Two Sisters Farms about the spirit of the season and a recent gathering she hosted at her fabulous Two Sisters Farm, a beautiful property just east of San Diego, rooted in family and surrounded by wine country. We especially love Two Sisters Farm as it's name and beginnings were born simply - of a daydream two sisters had about living closer to each other. Two husbands dreamed about farm life. Throw in two animal-loving kids with energy to roam and you have the utterly spectacular sister-owned farm that will feel like home because of the pervasive feeling of familiarity and family.
In the sweet communal spirit of the holiday season, Jenny tells us about her involvement with "Tuesdays Together" - a wonderful, weekly gathering, instituted by Rising Tide Society. Founded by Natalie Franke and Krista Jones, two wedding photographers on the east coast, with a vision to make waves in the events industry by building others up, rather than competing against one another. The vision would come to life by launching meet-ups in different cities where creative entrepreneurs would get together and build community over coffee in their local areas. They launched in June with the hope to have just five cities by the end of summer. What they found instead was a community that went international overnight with nearly 200 cities!
Tell us about the gathering that you hosted at the farm.
We were recently introduced to the local Tuesdays Together group by Jenna Joseph. When we heard the December event theme would be "Rest & Reset", and talk started about doing a potluck, we instantly felt the farm would be the perfect fit for our gathering! We started envisioning dark wood farm tables, yummy food and drinks, benches and blankets around the fire, mixes of metals, woods, and copper, and of course, lots of pine and floral accents!
Can you dish some of your favorite tips on styling tables for the holidays?
Don't be afraid to mix different colors and textures. Even simple white plates can be dressed up by layering different sizes and topping with a festive favor or pretty place card. Incorporate a holiday color palette using florals, and dress your table up even more with votives in varying sizes and colors! You can never go wrong with strategically placed sprigs of pine. Lastly, you don't need to go overboard! You can achieve a polished minimalistic look, like the table we designed, that will be sure to wow your guests during the holidays!
What is one of your favorite family holiday recipes that you served at your farm gathering?
Hot holiday minestrone soup! Instructions and recipe below.
Photo by Jami at K & J Photo
Ingredients for Hot Holiday Minestrone Soup:
|2 tbsp. Olive Oil
|3 tbsp. Tomato Paste
|3 Cloves Garlic, minced
|1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes
|1 Yellow Onion, diced
|1 Box Vegetable Stock
|3 Celery Stalks, diced
|4 cups Water
|3 Carrots, diced
|4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, Chopped
|1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
|1.5 c. Broccoli
|2 Bay Leaves
|1 Crookneck Squash, diced
|8 Sprigs Thyme
|1 Green Zucchini, diced
|2 Sprigs Rosemary
|1 c. Green Beans, cut into 1in pieces
|1⁄4 c Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
|1 Can Northern White Beans
|1 Large Can Crushed Tomatoes
|1 Can Kidney Beans
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, then add diced onions and let cook for a minute or two. Then add diced carrots and celery, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs, S&P and red pepper flakes. Stir in diced and crushed tomatoes, box vegetable stock, and water, place lid on pot and bring to a boil.
When the soup has boiled for 10-15 minutes add the broccoli, zucchini, squash, and green beans, cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the beans and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Remove bay leaves, thyme and rosemary sprigs. Serve hot with a large dollop of fresh Basil Pesto.
How did your venue setting influence the design?
Our farm is often described as relaxing, and laid back, so we wanted to design the party to give that same vibe! We thought a minimalistic "Christmas at The Farm" theme would suit our venue well! We placed two long farm tables together so we could have an intimate dinner with good conversation, and scattered high-top tables around the bar area and bonfire pit for casual mingling. We even stacked hay bales to use as additional serving space in the bar.
We went with a lot of neutrals, whites, gold, copper, and wood which played nicely with the farms surroundings.
As sisters do you have any traditions that you grew up with?
As far as Christmas traditions growing up, every year we would go to the Christmas Eve service at church and afterward, drive around and look at Christmas lights. We'd then get to open one gift that night before going to bed :)
What does gathering together mean to you and why is it important?
Gathering with friends and family is a time for us to connect and reconnect with friends and loved ones. Often these times are when we create lifelong memories that help strengthen our bonds to one another.
Venue: Two Sisters Farms | Photography: Jenna Joseph Photography | Specialty Rentals: Rustic Urban Events | Florals: Carla Kayes Floral Design | The Reason Behind it All: Rising Tide Society - @RisingTideSociety