Thank goodness for Google!
First, I enlisted the help of a dear friend who had crafted campfire tripods before - using three metal fence posts, a few pieces of chain, s-hooks and cook pots! Genius! And, living on a nearly 4 acre partially-wooded parcel just north of Lake Ann, I had plenty of aged logs and branches to fuel the fires.
Shopping for the dinner was challenging, yet fun. When all was said and done, my freezers and fridges were full of 11 lbs of crawfish, 7 lbs of shrimp, 12 lbs of mussels, 10 lbs of potatoes, 5 lbs of onions, 3 lbs of mushrooms, celery, garlic, a dozen lemons, 5 packs of boil mix, 3 pans of cornbread, 3 baguette loaves, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo with Michigan-made chips, Greek orzo salad, apple crisp, s'more fixin's (including my new secret ingredient, windmill cookies in place of graham crackers) and probably more, that I can't think of at the moment. Oh, and LOTS and LOTS of Michigan beer, wine and spirits.
Thankfully -- my mom, aunt and uncle were on hand to help get the food out, the boil boiling, and keep things moving smoothly while I was greeting guests (from near and far) and giving house tours.
Not only did I fill up my wine rack(s) with some great Michigan wines (including a 2002 Pinot Noir from Willow Vineyards) and bouquets and bouquets of fresh picked lilacs, but I was treated to some other great housewarming gifts that will be enjoyed for days/weeks/months/years to come!
The weather was perfect too (even though the mosquitos were plentiful) but it was the greatest night and I am so thankful for those who came to welcome me to the neighborhood!
Now...onto planning the next party...Saturday, August 16 - in celebration of PROMOTE MICHIGAN's 10th Anniversary!