Karnes #21 (Christmas #19) – December 2022
Oh my! It was wonderful again.

Mark and Joyce - The DP8 Christmas Celebration is always a highlight of the season for us. This year, as we head to Florida for 4 months, we especially appreciated the opportunity to share food, fun and fellowship with special friends before our departure.

Ken and Kriss - Thank you to The Karnes for another wonderful Christmas dinner!  The Baked Alaska was outstanding!  We are so blessed to have our DP8 friends.

Kerry and Julie Quinn - Kerry and Julie - Tremendous work by Deb. Nice conversation and we got some cool gifts. Glad the storm didn’t affect this holiday tradition

Once again, Deb K masterminded, with able assistance from Chay, the entire dinner! We were in awe, at her hard work, creativity, and culinary excellence! Oh, yes, did we say generosity?! Words on paper can do little to show the full extent of our appreciation.

And once again, Christmastime, with friends of shared experiences for a big chunk of our lives, wrote one more chapter. Humor, caring, joy, optimism jumbled together for another experience to enjoy and remember.

A week and a half into December had seen a week of rather pleasant and uneventfully dry weather. And then the snow gods realized a Karnes DP8 was nearing. So, the forecast that had started as 2-3 inches several days out, and bumping up an inch every couple days, found Sunday morning forecasters indicating 3-6 inches would be likely. By arrival time at the Karnes abode, after an impromptu half-hour delay to 6 pm, and a clearing and salting of the driveway, the diners started arriving, helped by the minute-before plowing by the town trucks. Last year, a light rain, just above freezing greeted us.

Mention should be made of the lighting arrangements that Chay has concocted in the yards and road entry. However, snow was falling heavily enough and road conditions required all my attention that I must confess to noticing only a little. A return trip will be necessary to view the blue lights festooning the trees that were knee-high twenty years ago, if even planted.

Kalli’s vigorous tail-thumping greeted all visitors once again. Coats were stored on the bed, season greetings were exchanged, and libations were soon in hand. As in 2021, the Quinns complemented the Karneses, Teators, Notarnicolas, and Monteverds. 

After glasses were filled, the immediate center of attention were the appetizers:
(acknowledgement to Deb K for writing the details of each course for this report)

  • calzone pinwheels
  • crab stuffed mini peppers

This noshing accompanied an hour of chatting and catching up on news. Plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were postulated, changes of Christmas routines over the years were noted, the passage of friends and loved one fondly remembered.

            Other topics here and later: plans for New Year’s Eve, someone’s birthday coming soon, winter & snow, the Teator Egypt book, Florida soon to come for Notars and then Monteverds, the Quinn family-doings, and much more.

Course 2
A plate of garlicky bread, sliced into regular chunk-slices, rested on the table, enticing all of us to munch.

            Not far behind came the large foot-and-a-half salad bowl. Mixed greens with black grapes, roasted pistachios, mandarin oranges, pomegranate arils, with feta on the side and a honey lime orange mustard vinaigrette once again gave testimony to Deb K’s fun with salads. And all agreed it was another excellent one.

Course 3 – Intermezzo
A rare repeat, and perhaps the all-time favorite, of a sorbet flavor – Pineapple Sorbet – pleased everyone. Instead of icy and cleansing, this sorbet was a silky, creamy, yet cleansing concoction that we tenderly dabbed onto our lips.

Course Four: Entrée and sides
Soon thereafter, both Chay and Deb disappeared while we other eight sat in anticipation of what was coming to our ten foot table.

  • the star of the evening - boneless roasted prime rib, only a part of a 17 pound roast from the Meat Guy
  • glazed carrots in the Christmas tree bowl
  • roasted potatoes and fennel with roasted haricot verts (ok, green beans for us roughhewn folk)
  • fresh cranberry sauce
  • round loaf of pull-apart garlic parm bread

Beer, soda, and water accompanied a Finger Lakes MacGregor cabernet sauvignon and a Napa red blend. Of course, coffee (Rule #7) was lovingly delivered to Ken.

Conversation continued, bellies got fuller, and silverware was set down. Attention turned to the array of wrapped gifts nestled between the fire place and TV. We promised to be more Judy Adams-like than last year and to steal whenever possible. Two thefts came late but potential earlier ones were appeased by one’s opened gifts. #1 chose not to complete another theft.

For the record, the range of gifts included: bowl with a horse motif (yup, Deb K opened as if it were meant to be, and no one dared look more than twice at it); a woven basket (that Julie hugged so a thief would have to take Julie with it); solar hanging light; infrared thermometer; a throw blanket (#1); non-stick skillet; Land’s End travel bag; travel pack and scale; power pack; and a cutting board. No swaps, and a waft of good creativity came from this year’s goodies. Merry Christmas!

After gift-exchanging, fifteen more minutes of lazing and talking, and a group photo, we filtered back into the dining room to investigate Deb K’s dessert creation this year:

Course 5
Baked Alaska!
A bed of pound cake rested under layers of pistachio, vanilla bean, and strawberry ice cream, covered with Swiss meringue before going into a 500 degree oven to finish it off. 

Another half-hour of pleasant discussion and some innuendo passed. The hour hand was approaching ten. Dinner was done, with an extension of afterglow of story-telling, reminiscing, and wishing well for the future. Before darkness would waft us homeward, we hoped that 2022 might lead into a productive and worthy 2023. And challenges lay ahead, known or not yet invented, and we hoped we may have the grace and strength and support to see our way ahead.

We humbly and gratefully accepted this generosity of one our culinary highlights of the year. Thank you, Deb and Chay, for your efforts and such grand hospitality.

Merry Christmas to all!