August 2008 – at the Monterverds

The cool nights of the last week or so made it a not so great day to swim, but the shimmering pool and surrounding grounds made a beautiful backdrop to the annual DP8 “picnic”, this year held at the Monteverds.  A warm evening had us enjoying various wines (pinot noirs, cabernets, pinot grigios, white zins) along with the customary T & T and a couple of beers on the back deck under the awning (I miss the trees, but I’m guessing there’s the same amount of shade with an awning and no leaves to clean up!)
              The conversation revolved around the impending doom of some of us returning to work, with those of us ‘full-timers’ not giving much sympathy to same, Ken’s new crop of Concord grapes and what to do with them, Kriss’ reunion, the latest update on the Adams’ yard, Deb’s 49.5 birthday, and a short contribution by Jen Monteverd about her recent trip to Ireland.  And then, of course, before most had even finished their first round of drinks, ...…
              Dinner found us in the formal dining room set with Kriss’ classic Longaberger dishes.  We oohed and aahed over a recent addition to the dry sink – a hand painted ceramic bowl with sheep in a country setting (awesome!).
              The Teators’ salads have now become almost legendary with their seemingly always changing variety of fresh greens and ingredients.  Tonight’s version included dried cranberries, fresh tomatoes and broccoli, along with a plethora of other veggies.  Speaking of Teators’ salad, they also brought a fresh fruit salad that included fresh mangoes, melon, and a host of other fresh fruits.  The Adams’ contribution to dinner included the veggies and starch – a cold green bean dish with mushrooms and a pasta dish with tomatoes, chick peas and I don’t know what else.  I do know both were very tasty!  There was also fresh, hot rolls and bread.  The highlight of the meal was the main course – skewers of beef, chicken and shrimp with a few veggies scattered in between.  All were cooked to perfection by Chef Ken and his assistants, Chay, Tim and Don.  An error by the butcher meant left over shrimp skewers for everyone!!!  Dinner was accompanied by more libations, including a lovely pinot noir.  Dinner also included a special treat of getting to examine a souvenir from the Monte’s honeymoon in Holland – a beautiful, hand painted crock filled with, well we couldn’t figure out what it was filled with.  Perhaps wine or liqueur or liquor - in any event, a lovely memento just the crock itself.
              Dishes were cleared and the formal dining room became the “players” room.  The chips were distributed according to where we left off when we last played poker in SC and the card sharks were ready to go once more, with Deb T bowing out to the family room to quilt and watch TV.  An early sizeable win by Deb K made things look like she was going to keep stacking up those chips, but then Chay made a strong appearance, with Don coming up a big winner toward the end of the round, only to be topped by two humungous hands by Ken, who had earlier predicted that he was going to “kick some ass”.  All in all, fun for all even if some of us didn’t fare as well as we might have liked.  A record was taken of where we all stood so we can pick up there next time.  Hopefully, it won’t be a whole entire year before we play again…
               Dessert was finally served, with an impatient Deb T trying to beat us to the punch, but being unsuccessful at finding where Kriss “hid” the desserts.  A chocolate chip cake with mini chips and grated chocolate, topped with thick chocolately icing and banana cream pie, a banana based topped by custard topped further by perky meringue rounded out the evening, with even Tim partaking tonight for a change – well done!
               The evening had cooled as we said our goodbyes on a clear, late Summer night.  Another evening to remember – good food and good friends, what better combination could there be???