Porching in Mapleton Fall Creek
submitted by Nathan Foxton
I had no idea who was going to show up. The news had forecasted rain earlier in the week, and if it did rain, my porch was potentially going to accommodate a crowd of refugees seeking comfort. My housemates and I use our porch pretty regularly, and it’s perfect for intimate conversations with a handful of people- how was I going to expand the party space while keeping it unified? My goal was to combine the reality of our split duplex porch and spacious yard with the spirit of playful outdoor living and hospitable porch culture.
On our side the porch was dusted and aired out; it is essentially our outdoor living room. On the other side a long patio table was placed to turn our neighbor’s space into a dining room. I placed a vase of flowers on each side of the porch, and evenly distributed the candles. I had worked with a friend on having a progressive porch party; I waited for the crowd to make their way over for the second course.
I knew one thing for certain as soon as I had agreed to have a porch party: I was going to make barbecue. I researched the best recipes to make a simple straightforward meal complimented by some great beer. I decided on pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, and jalapeno cornbread. I started looking for smoked beers to play off of the barbecue seasoning, and ended up with three: a strong and rich Russian imperial stout, a light but flavorful smoked pilsner, and a porter which was well known locally. The hard part about pairing dishes you haven’t made with beer
is that it’s a little bit of a gamble as to how the food experience will turn out. I always like having a few people at a party whose opinions I can trust about what I’ve made.
Everything turned out great and I was able to relax a little during the second half of the evening. I was even able to participate in a few games of Spikeball. Through this porch party I really took in the charm of where I live, and I believe it refreshed a sense of openness with the rest of the neighborhood.