Christmas @ Karnes
December 2013
Christmas 2013 marked the eleventh Christmas-time Dinner Party of Eight that has convened at the Karnes abode, and #11 was savored as fully as any of the first ten.
         In attendance and enjoying the largesse, besides Chay and Deb, were the Teators, Monteverds, Romalins, and Notars. Missing by relocation are the Adamses; we missed you, even at theft time (Judy).
          Warmer temperatures had cleared the driveway so the foot of snow a week earlier posed no problem. Outdoor lights, new and old-fashioned, draped several trees in an array of angles. And a new indoor tree, a little shorter, adorned with LED lights, bottom-filled with gifts, reigned, as usual, in the peach-pink glow of the foyer.
          Kalli greeted all, more behaved than last year, presumably from the able coaching of “mom” and “dad.” And even Kiki made a friendly appearance later.

One of the reasons for DP8’s existence—the culinary experience—once again was shared in grand style.
          Appetizers included a bowl of caramelized onion and bacon dip, scallion-topped, with a plate of crackers to accompany (Deb K); a Hawthorne Valley soft cheese spread; a plate of chocolate-covered, nut-encrusted toffee brittle; a stromboli with a swirl of cured meat and greens (Sheila); and a plate of assorted cookies, somewhat flavored by several drops of white zin (a-hem, who spilled the wine?).
          Chay served from the drink counter—Concannon 2009 Petite Sirah Livermore Conservancy, choices of beer, a splash of gin, another splash of Scotch, and more as needed.
          A Teator chopped salad served as first course, accompanied by a home-made balsamic dressing. A basket of dime-sized, blue cheese crackers were a crunchy nibble (Deb K).
          This was followed by the now customary Deb K special, an intermezzo of lime sorbet.
          The third course presented Chateaubriand, with a choice of medium to well-done cuts; a bowl of cheesy mashed potatoes (Giada recipe via Mark); a hearty plate of root, and other, vegetables (Joyce); pogacza (Hungarian cheese bread-Deb K); and freshly made whole cranberry sauce (Deb K).
          Party favors of Christmas napkins and matches for each couple were another piece of the Karnes generous touch.
          Dessert included a chocolate-iced, chocolate cake with red & green star sprinkles (Kriss) and an Italian cream cake, moist and full (Deb K).
          Coffee, tea, and more wine filled the final round.

Before dessert, according to tradition, came the exchange of gifts, with the “steal-whatever-is-open” proviso. And for the first time ever, nobody stole. Without Judy’s prompting and squealing, we politely accepted that we were pleased enough with what we unwrapped.
          Discussion ran the usual gamut, and a Christmas spirit will allow a glow of good will to blend all the topics into a tally that will go unlisted.

Although we all pitched in with some food, we know that without Chay and Deb’s generosity and thoughtfulness, this event would not happen. So, Deb and Chay, thank you for your hospitality, caring, and sharing, even with all the busy-ness of life pulling all of us in so many directions. Once again, another cherished memory takes its place in a long litany of special events.