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Bookworm of Edwards brings southern hospitality to valley

Leigh Horton
Special to the Daily
Christy Rost’s newest book is “Celebrating Home: A Handbook for Gracious Living.”
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Author and PBS chef Christy Rost.

Where: Bookworm of Edwards.

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Cost: $10.

More information: Call 970-926-READ or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.

On Wednesday night, the Bookworm of Edwards hosts author and PBS chef Christy Rost for an evening of gracious living and hosting tips. The event’s highlights include assembling the perfect summer gathering in the Rocky Mountains and the benefits of living a joyful life. Working with Vintage Magnolia, the Kitchen Collage and the Bookworm of Edwards, Rost will show her audience how to create a vision of the ideal summer event and enjoy the process of welcoming guests without the stress associated with entertaining.

“Christy really fits in with the summertime guests and understands they want simple, elegant ways to entertain and have fun while at home,” said Nicole Magistro, the Bookworm’s owner.

Rost’s recipes are tasty and quick, and her decoration tips are easy enough for even the busiest entertainer to take. Her guidelines are generic enough to apply to any space, but will have an immense impact wherever applied.

While her background is decidedly southern, her cooking advice has been moderated by several decades of Rocky Mountain influence. This effect has come from decades of vacationing in Dillon with her family. And like many southerners, she fell in love with the Colorado lifestyle. She and her husband, Randy, recently refurbished Swan’s Nest, their get-away home in Breckenridge and plan to use its colorful history and garden to inspire friendly and casual gatherings.

At her celebrations, she makes sure she is “spoiling [her] guests from the moment they arrive,” she said.

She suggests taking advantage of the mountain scenery by eating outside or sipping a glass of wine on a patio. “In such beautiful mountain surroundings, take advantage of the outdoors whenever possible and host at least some portion of the gathering outside.”

But she realizes that these beautiful mountain views come at the price of altitude. Cooking at 9,000 feet can present difficulties even the most veteran chef cringes to consider. Rost’s newest book, “Celebrating Home: A Handbook for Gracious Living” addresses these problems by giving handy tips on how to prepare her recipes at altitude.

Practical tips abound and extend to ways to make the night of the event easier. Magistro suggests that “today, it’s all about being graceful and practical in one night. And that goes for hosting your family, your grandkids or your bridge club.”

Gracious living

“Celebrating Home” is not only a practical hostess’ guide to the perfect party, it is also the culmination of many years of Rost’s work.

It “is the book I’ve wanted to write for a long time, with mouthwatering recipes, home decorating ideas, entertaining tips, table settings, flower arranging how-to’s, and inspiration for creating a joyful, gracious home,” she said. “In essence, a reflection of all the things I love about home.”

According to Rost, home should have as much grace as the hostess does. Gracious living is a state of mind exhibited by slowing down, appreciating the little things that bring joy, and celebrating the good in life that comes from the most unexpected places. Being a gracious host involves simplicity. Rost explains that the details that daunt the most experience hostess are unnecessary additions to the party and should be forgotten so the hostess can have fun and enjoy the festivities.

“Anything that didn’t get done won’t be missed by your guests,” she said.

Grace and joy abound when Rost talks about the art of hosting. To her, hosting is more than planning an event and making an assembly line in the kitchen to get everything done on time. She envisions what everything will look like the second she steps in a store and sees an inspiring piece of fabric, artwork, or flower arrangement. From there, she falls in love with themes, colors, and ideas, finally making them into a unified entertaining environment.

At the Bookworm, she plans to “take the audience on a journey of the joy of gathering around the table with others and creating something memorable for them,” she said.

She will explain how she developed her event theme and how she found each piece and put them together. She is also going to explain how the refurbishment of her mountain home Swan’s Nest gave her an opportunity to live graciousness and preserve a piece of history.

Her biggest tip is to relax. “It’s not rocket science – it’s a gathering of family and friends to celebrate being together,” she said.

So for your next party, take it easy. Put together a simple and joyful event, and enjoy the people as much as you enjoy the food, setting, and environment.

If you are unable to attend the event on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Bookworm, but still want Rost’s expert tips, purchase her newest book “Celebrating Home: A Handbook for Gracious Living” at the Bookworm for $29.95.

Leigh Horton is an intern at The Bookworm of Edwards and a student at the Colorado School of Mines. Email comments about this story to cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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