"How She Hosts": a Q&A series with women who inspire us
Crystal Moore is the founder of Garden & Grace. Thanks to her discerning taste, her site and Instagram are online resources for timeless architecture and classic interior inspiration. She is a wife, mom of 3 and appreciator of a home cooked meal and anything with salt and butter.
How do you like to entertain? What is the vibe?
There’s something about a backyard cookout that always feels special to me. I grew up in a family where my parents were always hosting parties and that familiar smell of burgers or chicken on the grill takes me back to my childhood. I like to balance comfort food with elevated tablescapes and décor to make people feel at ease and special.
What are you serving?
If I’m not serving hamburgers and hotdogs, I’ll do seasoned chicken on the grill, corn arugula salad (my sister-in-law has the best recipe!), watermelon and crockpot mac and cheese (again, another family recipe).
For appetizers, I’m known for always having deviled eggs and pimiento cheese. And for dessert! My go-to summer dessert is a banana pudding recipe that a family friend from Georgia shared with me when I got married, and it’s been a favorite dish for me ever since.
What are you sipping?
My go-to drink this summer has been a French Fizz Rose from Trader Joe's with a few frozen raspberries. It’s refreshing and festive!
What are you wearing?
Almost without a doubt, a dress or long skirt.
What are you listening to?
If my husband is the DJ, which he normally is, we’re listening to country.
How do you make your guests feel special? How do you make them feel at home?
I have drinks poured and ready to hand out as guests arrive, so they immediately feel welcomed. I also try to make sure everyone has a place to sit and feels included in the conversation.
If you are hosting a dinner, what is your go-to centerpiece?
With three young kids, I keep things simple. My go-to centerpiece is a ginger jar from my house with hydrangeas cut from my yard. I’ll put a few out depending on the size of the table and will add votives around to light as the evening goes on. It’s the perfect addition to the table that only takes a few minutes to pull together.
How do you end a celebration?
As the night winds down, we usually make our way to the soft seating on the porch, kick up our feet and enjoy the company of those still lingering. As guests leave, I was taught to always walk them to the door and thank them for coming. My heart is always fuller at the end of a celebration and my hope is that everyone else feels the same.
What is your favorite Half Past Seven product to entertain with?
That’s an easy question for me to answer! The pewter ice tub has been one of the most versatile and used products in my home. It’s not only great for chilling and displaying wine, but I’ve also used it to dress up sparking water cans and for floral arrangements. Think poinsettias and moss at Christmas time! I’m also so impressed by the tortoise glasses and use them for smaller gatherings.
Let’s play this or that…
- Charger OR Placemat: charger
- Stemmed OR Stem-less: stemmed
- Red OR White: white (for summer!)
- Tablecloth OR Bare: tablecloth
- Votives OR Taper Candle: votives
- Formal OR Informal: informal