Luncheon in the Library

Each May, Mrs. Parker recognizes all the parent volunteers for their time, energy, and dedication in helping maintain the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School by hosting a fabulous luncheon in their honor.

Library Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Mrs. Clifford works her usual amazing magic by setting out such a charming buffet on top of the lower bookshelves. The menu consisted of Mrs. Parker’s curried chicken salad, mixed baby greens with Parmesan, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette, rolls served in an adorable picket fence corral, the perennial favorite deviled eggs, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs, flower-shaped sugar cookies, fresh strawberries and lemonade.

The buffet was decorated like a precious garden with flowers and seed packets and books (of course).


Mrs. Parker has been the beloved librarian at Rolling Hills Country Day School since 1983. Her daughter, Leslie, started attending the school in 1982. A year later Mrs. Parker came on board and has been here ever since. And Leslie has gone on to graduate from Georgetown and receive her MBA from UCLA.

Mrs. Parker’s specialty: Curried Chicken Salad. She makes it exactly from the recipe found in Gourmet June 2002 issue. There is a synergy in this combination of ingredients. Everyone loves it, year after year. Chicken, curry, yogurt, lime, honey, ginger, red onion, mango, red grapes, cashews…intrigued? Go here for the complete recipe. You’ll be glad you did!





Library Before and After

I love before and after photos. In the summer of 2005 it was my pleasure to update the library at Rolling Hills Country Day School.

It is amazing what color can do to enhance a space. The remodel consisted of a new paint palette, new computers, bookshelves, lighting, carpet and rug, furniture, and other design elements. I worked with Mrs. Parker to make sure we met the needs of the students while preserving some of the historical features in the library. We retained the old card catalog (no longer in use) and installed special shelving for Mrs. Parker’s antique books.

Those big red leather chairs continue to be a magnet for the children. Sometimes we’ll find three of them sitting in one chair, reading one of the books that Mrs. Parker has painstakingly chosen for the library. It is an awesome space, warm and inviting, enhanced by Mrs. Parker’s enchanting personality and love of children and books.

Alas, there were no Legumes at the Library Luncheon, but don’t let that stop you from submitting your fabulous legume-centric dish to the global event taking place the entire month of May. My Legume Love Affair, go here for details!

And remember, as a special treat to one of the lucky participants in My Legume Love Affair, there is a GIVEAWAY. A book, how apropos! A World of Dumplings – Filled Dumplings, Pockets, and Little Pies from Around the Globe by Brian Yarvin.

Do join us, won’t you?

Evelyn Dawn’s Potato Crusted Salmon

Evelyn Dawn’s Potato Crusted Atlantic Salmon
Sautéed Vegetables and Lemon Dill Sauce
Gina Lee’s Bistro, Redondo Beach, California
THE RECIPE CAN BE FOUND HERE.


Evelyn was my grandmother-in-law.
She passed away at 93 years of age in the year 2000.

As a tribute when Evelyn passed, the proprietors of Gina Lee’s Bistro, Scott and Gina Lee, named this dish after her. They keep her memory alive daily in their fabulous restaurant, as waiters are constantly asked by new patrons, who is Evelyn Dawn and why is the salmon named for her? They are quick to tell about Evelyn; an independent woman ahead of her time, with impeccable taste, a successful businesswoman, friend, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and educator of hundreds. Scott and Gina keep a framed photograph of Evelyn in the restaurant.
Evelyn was often asked about the secret to her vitality at her age. When someone would ask her age, she would tell them the truth, and they wouldn’t believe it. She would reply, “Do you really think I would lie and increase my age?” She had a great sense of humor too.
Scott and Gina said of the salmon dish, “This is a crowd favorite. Lots of people remember “Miss Dawn” who among other things founded Rolling Hills Country Day School. She came in the restaurant nearly daily and always had the salmon professing that the omega 3 fatty acids kept her going at top speed. We’ve had former students and teachers come in and marvel that she lives on our menu.”

Miss Evelyn Dawn
July 8, 1907 – July 16, 2000

Here’s Evelyn in her 90’s with a glass of red wine and a cigar!
Rolling Hills Country Day School was founded in 1961 by Evelyn Dawn who began educating children in the early 50’s. She bought and operated her first school in Manhattan Beach, California—a preschool. Seeing growth opportunities along the beach area, Miss Dawn sold her Manhattan Beach school and bought a new facility in Redondo Beach that also included two swimming pools. There she taught swimming and the ABC’s to hundreds of local children. Every year her preschool program grew and eventually she needed a site that would house her dream: to provide a high quality educational experience for children. In 1961, Miss Dawn, with very little assistance, broke ground on a beautiful piece of land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and realized her dream of a Kindergarten through Grade 8 School, that is Rolling Hills Country Day School.
Today would have been her 101st birthday.

Afternoon Tea

I attended an absolutely lovely event co-hosted by the 7th Grade Girls and Mothers to honor the graduating 8th Grade Girls at Rolling Hills Country Day School in Palos Verdes, California.

This annual event, which has been taking place for decades, is held at the home of one of our families at Country Day School. This time it was at a beautiful home on the bluff overlooking the Pacific.

The 7th grade girls passed tea sandwiches, little cakes and tarts, and served tea and punch to all the attendees.

In addition, the 7th Grade Girls performed a delightful song for the 8th Graders by Rascal Flatts called “My Wish.”
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,

Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,

You never need to carry more than you can hold,

And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,

I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,

Yeah, this, is my wish.

The girls were darling, as always, and as the 7th grade girls did the serving, the 8th grade girls performed the role of gracious hostesses practicing their conversation skills with the adults. As you can imagine, I also have some adorable photos of the girls which I look forward to sharing with their parents.

Mini Scones were served with Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd.

Early on, it was a little overcast with the temperature in the mid 60’s. The sun came out towards the end of the event. The view was breathtaking.

I am sending this photograph “Centerpiece Overlooking the Pacific at Afternoon Tea” to Sandi at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking for her Centerpiece of the Month (COTM) event, an event which I have been meaning to participate in for forever.
And apropos of my Afternoon Tea post, today is the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day. Originally Mother’s Day was marked by the wearing of a single white carnation. Mom may get a big bouquet now, but the sentiment remains the same.
Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. I love you, Ma.
May 14: Carol at Paris Breakfasts has linked Afternoon Tea in her “Tiny Teapots” post. If you haven’t already, please visit Carol and check out her fabulous watercolor paintings (of which I have 5 hanging in my home).