December 2004 - Karnes3 (dt)
A greatly appreciated “tradition” (I hesitate somewhat to call it a tradition because we other six do not want it to be an expectation!) found Dinner Party of Ten (our usual, plus Mike and Sheila) meeting at the Karnes’ eyrie on the Saturday before Christmas. Supplanting our usual restaurant choice, this Christmas dinner provides a pleasant and welcome alternative to our customary routine.
    The Up Side: Ahhh, the upsides; there are many. Previously referred to was the alternative atmosphere. The ability to lounge, move around, plop ourselves onto our choices of furniture, etc., ranges beyond any reasonable expectation of any restaurant. In addition, a real Christmas spirit pervades this get-together, even the most Grinch-like almost volunteering to be a regular elf.
    Of course, the chef was up to usual high level. Hors d’oeuvres started with a veggie platter and crab balls....
    The salad greens were complemented with shrimp and scallops (Deb! What are you going to do to outdo this?!), followed by the palate cleansing home-made lemon sorbet.
    The main course was pork crown roast, three-cheese mashed potatoes, home-made apple sauce, and red-white&green beans, accompanied by parmesan monkey bread.
    We decided to wait for dessert, retreated to the living room for the Christmas gift exchange (or, theft, depending on the end you are on). Each gift was kept, except for the purloined bowl (no names)!
    Deb K then opened up her birthday gifts, and we headed back to dessert. The remnants of a chocolate birthday cake, cookies, and an individual serving of crème brulee (for Judy’s cartoon) finished off the meal. In between there was some Tanqueray Ten and tonic, along with a reservoir of merlot – cabernet – syrah.
    Not to be forgotten were dinner favors of  Lake Erie glass candle holders, poppers and paper hats. All in all, the company and Christmas spirit complemented the top notch food. There wasn’t a restaurant out there that night, Deb, that could compete with your offerings. Thanks, Deb and Tom, for your wonderful hospitality.
    The Down Side: Other than a lack of shuffleboard, there were absolutely none. Even December’s weather has been kind. However, a carefully broached topic was Deb’s age, a couple days shy of four years shy of the quintuple decade mark!