Christmas 2012 @ Karnes   (dt)

For the tenth consecutive time, a December Saturday has seen several paths of car lights heading to Weed Road, turning up the Lane and past the decorated trees (ten years larger) to scale the driveway, arriving at the Karnesesí for another worthy chapter of the DP8 Christmas Saga that started in 2003.
          Thank you, Chay and Deb, for hosting one of our most special events of the year. Your efforts, hospitality, and generosity are much appreciated. 

Appetizers:
==> veggie tray, and accompanying dip, with layers and rows forming a Christmas tree
==> almond-encrusted cream-cheese-Mexican-shredded-cheese-Dijon-mustard ball
==> plate of shrimp with cocktail sauce
==> pan of artichoke-spinach and roasted-pepper-cheese fillo tartlets

.
Drinks:
==> Maipe 2010 Malbec Reserve
==> Maipe 2011 Malbec
==> Beringer White Zinfandel
==> Lamberti Prosecco
==> Celebration beer
==> Scotch, available
.

Opening Hors díoeuvres
==> fire-roasted tomato and pesto cavatelli with fresh shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
(a worthy course, Deb K, and a worthy change of pace)

Interlude
==> fresh home-made Lime Sorbet
(another Deb K concoction, with a lime-tree scent, tangy, mouth-puckering essence that surpasses any restaurant offering)

Main Course
==> braised brisket, cooked with root vegetables which were set aside as a separate savory dish of carrots, turnips, onions
==> roasted Brussels sprouts hash, flavored strongly with bacon and onions
==> Marionís Roadside Potato Casserole
==> Cranberry-Orange Relish
==> Fresh rolls

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Dessert
==> four layer Whoopie Pie Cake, with a marshmallow-butter-cream filling and topping
==> Coccadotts cake of two enormously-tall layers of moist vanilla cake, with a pure white icing generously decorated in the Christmas spirit
==> coffee & tea & after-dinner drinks

The food is the stated excuse for our gathering but, in reality, the friendship and sharing is the core. And it shows in a number of ways:
==> the group-gathering around center island, or even the splintering into smaller huddles
==> trying to step out of Debís way, especially the scalding pans and pots
==> one conversationís topic blending into the next
==> Debís stuffed party favors
==> laughter interspersing dozens of times
==> the festive green table cloth
==> pinpoints of outside tree lights through the dining roomís array of windows
==> Christmasy plates, dishes, bowls, glasse
==> the orange foyer absorbing the tall Christmas tree, bedecked with old style lights
==> piles of gifts expectantly awaiting our shredding
==> back yard garden festooned with winter-dazzling lights
==> Kalliís second Christmas with dp8
==> a toast to good hosts, good health, celebration with friends

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The gift exchange continued our Grinchy-Santa tradition. We picked our numbers, with #1 (Ken) picking first; #2 opening the second but able to steal the earlier gift of someone else, and so on; finally, after #10 has stolen, or not, #1 has the final steal.
          Attention: Judy did not steal, despite promises. Deb K stole a basket, and Ken pilfered some wine.

Topics included: Kenís very impending retirement; the Monteverdsí waiting for a grandchild; Deb Kís job, stress, and new office worker; lack of snow this year, so far; recommendations for furnace repair, plumbers, etc.; Michaelís somewhat lengthy opinion of and experience with dermatologists; heart ailments; watching a house while on vacation; trips to DC and grandkids; school (sorry, Chay); how awful retirement has been for Kriss (not); C-D building decisions; Nathanís addition and Debís efforts, and more that has flitted beyond my remembering.

. .
Again, thank you, Chay and Deb, Ken and Kriss, Tim and Judy, Michael and Sheila, and Don and Deb for another golden glow of an evening. Merry Christmas.