Karnes #9 –  August 2010 (dt)

It took a while to get warmed up, especially after an eight week gap, but warm up we did (and the weather wasn’t really hot – about 80 – despite the gobs of heat we have had this summer). After a half-hour clustered around the kitchen island and catching up on the big strands of news (the women had done most of that earlier in the week at Chatham’s Mac-Hadyn), we headed for the front porch, with its soft, early evening landscape-painting-ish scenery of the Weed Road valley.
               Chay made sure our thirsts were quenched. A Capiaux 2008 Chimera Pinot Noir, prosecco with raspberries; Tanqueray & tonic, beer, and soda did the trick.
               The appetizer table held a bowl of smooth guacamole dip with orange tomato chunks plonked on top, with a side basket of crackers; a glass plate of raw shrimp with the side of cocktail sauce; and a small bin of vegetable chips.
               We changed chairs for different views of scenery whenever the opportunity arose, usually whenever Deb or Chay intermittently vacated a chair for culinary prep.
               Chay announced the salad course, a Teator salad that filled a Bowl Mill bowl with spring mix greens, carrot and red cabbage shreds, chopped walnuts and almond slices; small broccoli florets, craisins, and kiwi and cantaloupe slices to top. Deb T’s homemade balsamic vinaigrette lubricated the ingredients (except for the two who have a salad-allergy).
               A bundt ring of monkey bread, with hints of garlic and parmesan, and more than hints of butter, had everyone breaking off a piece, and then another.
               And, finally, the entrée course. From the grill came chicken breast halves speckled with a patina of olive oil and seasoning, and right behind came the Cajun seasoned London Broil, with degrees of doneness for the range of eaters.
               A large glass bowl of chunky potato salad, complemented by peas and pancetta, seasoned with honey mustard vinaigrette and dill, accompanied the meats.
               A piping hot bowl of “Aunt Bel’s” corn pudding, prepared by Judy, was oohed and ahhed over.
               Summer, and company, and good food, and drink, and fading August dusk leading into evening with a gibbous moon lurking above the eastern rim of the Weed Road hill all melded into another summer dp8 dinner.
               Dessert still beckoned. Kriss’ pedestal glass cake plate held a ganache-emblazoned chocolate layer cake, with layers of Devonshire filling, that wowed the table. And, then, Deb K had prepared one of her experiment-concoctions – a 12 inch tart, of white chocolate base, filled with a cream cheese and banana pudding mix, topped with a bull’s eye of red raspberries, surrounded by a ring of blueberries, surrounded by the white of the filling; and finally edged, tart and plate, with white-chocolate dipped strawberries.
               Yeah, man.
               Chay enticed a few to try a liqueur glass of frozen black Sambuca for the evening’s last flavor.

Somewhere in here there was a lot of talk, especially with an absence of eight weeks. Topics, in no particular order, included the women’s attendance at Showboat and the old pee-ers; topics the women had obviously talked about before and explored; the big cork filler, little heads, ..., and other colorful topics; Glenn Beck; other ‘affairs’; pacing of summer events; trips to Maine, Milwaukee, DC, Watkins Glen, New Hampshire, Walton fair, and day trips; someone’s ‘forgotten’ birthday; Tim’s birthday card & present; Krypton; work (for some); the upcoming wedding less than a month away; Deb T’s pocketbooks; keeping busy; Ken’s wine-making; Dunkirk events; DVRs; new cell phones; big rain last week & green grass; breakfast in the morning for six of us before going to the Wyeth show in Glens Falls; Proctor’s play schedule; the Traver’s; Lori’s visit; a mouse chewing on Tim’s car ($600 loss at Saratoga!); there must be more but they have evaporated into eternal ethereal evanescence.
               A thank you goes to Chay and Deb for their hospitality this evening. And a bravo to all for another repast that complements the care, ‘la vie c’est bonne’, and amity that defines dp8. Although we do this so casually, at times, we also remember to savor these moments.