If the weather has turned sour or you Carefully transfer your new grass to your chosen
just can’t get to the beach, there’s no spot in the house and decorate with shells, rocks,
need to despair. You can easily bring the ambience driftwood, collectibles from past beach excursions
of the beach into your own home with just a few and perhaps even some sand.
fun decorations. To create a simpler beachscape, make a quick
You may recall the Spring Afternoon “At trip to a nursery for a selection of ornamental
Home” Tea Party (page 166), where a sod table- grasses and white sand. Protect the area to be
cloth was suggested. Surprisingly, this rather inex- covered with thick plastic or plywood. Mound
pensive clump of grass also can be transformed sand in dune shapes and strategically place clumps
into a wonderful beachscape. of grasses and shells.
This time you must start your process about a If no fireplace is available or you just can’t
month ahead by purchasing enough sod to either stand the thought of a fire, marshmallows can be
act as a runner down the center of your table or carefully “toasted” in a microwave. Place four to
cover your fireplace hearth area. As before, begin by six large marshmallows an equal distance apart on
measuring the space and cutting a piece of plywood a microwave-safe plate. Cook in the microwave for
to fit the desired area. Staple durable black plastic a minute or two, until they begin to brown. They
sheeting to both sides. Note: The plywood from must be carefully watched at all times, as the
the At Home Tea Party tabletop can be reused. pillows of fluff get quite large and can burn quickly.
Unroll the sod outside, cut it to fit the plywood Use potholders to remove the plate and place it
template and start hosing it off. Continue cleaning on a heat-resistant surface until the marshmallows
for two or three days, until most of the mud has are completely cool. While they may not look as
been washed away. Then, move the plastic-covered beautiful as those toasted at the beach, the cooked
plywood to the garage or unfinished basement and flavor is similar to that of their fire-toasted cousins.
lay the grass on top. Do not water or let rain fall Use shipwreck bottles as placecards. Fans can
on the sod. Over the next few weeks, the grass will create an offshore breeze, but only if they face
at first begin to grow and then eventually turn dry away from the sand. Play soothing ocean music
and brown. What remains is something that looks in the background. In lieu of Frisbee, play a few
remarkably like beach grass. hands of Fish.
Who knows, everyone may have such a good
time that the real beach won’t even be missed.