Sobremesa Supper with Hops Petunia and Sunday Suppers


Often, I write about my children. Not because I don't have other interests (i do), but because being a mother is the thing I always knew I wanted. Between childhood ambitions as a pediatrician, a missionary (yes, really!), a UNICEF ambassador, or later, the creator of a chic Indie mag (still working on that one), mothering is the thing I always knew I would do—where my whole heart would go before and after and between all the rest. This is still true.

But there's something else that has always been there, a lingering desire. A quiet fantasy that floats to the surface year in and year out: it is the dream of having a space--a shop, a bakery, a stylist general store or perhaps a blend of all three—to call my own. The details matter less than the mood; the vibe you feel when you are there is what’s important. It is airy, and plant-filled and joyous. It's feminine and hopeful. It is a place you can go to find yourself and loose yourself. A place you can go to explore and expand, to dream a little. 

Behind the counter (or the pastry bar) at this little shop I stand, smiling and humming while I arrange a bouquet or a platter of gloriously crisp dough, bursting with fruit fillings. There I am, happy and carefree (if you’re also a dreamer, you well know that in the fantasy version of our lives, we’re not responsible for paying the bills, taking inventory, and mopping the floors).


Year after year this dream of mine has willingly taken the back burner to everything more urgent: book deadlines and articles to write or style, to the recipes I spend my days crafting, to my friendships and my family who are so dear, to bills and laundry and letters to write, and most of all to my family. Their urgent is constant.

But one beautiful night in May, my friend Kelli opened the doors of her wonderland, Hops Petunia, to co-host a dreamy, flower-filled candlelight dinner for ten. A Sobremesa--a night when the wine was poured and the platters passed and the laughter filled the air, a night when everyone lingered for just a bit longer than usual. The night was inspired by Karen Mordechai of Sunday Suppers, a carryover of the beautiful dinners she once held in her Brooklyn loft and which now travel around the world. She is a dreamweaver.


On this night, Kelli and I served the kind of simple, gorgeous, flavorful food I love most under a lattice of flowers and greens. That night, on the summer solstice, we welcomed in the sweetest season that came and went in a flash. 

All that remains are these photos, new friendships and the appetite for more. The little shop that could. A wonderland among wonderlands. Thank you, Kelli, and our guests who came to bring this little dream to life. Thank you for sharing your magic shop and, for a night, letting me pretend it was ours.


**Proceeds from the dinner donated to The Hunger Project ** 

  • Flowers // Kelli Galloway, Hops Petunia

  • Plates // LAIL Design 

  • Photos // Clean Plate Pictures

  • Food Styling // Sarah Copeland

  • Menu Design // Sunday Suppers