Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Dinner

After months of planning and three days of cooking, our Christmas dinner finally took place. It was amazing how we timed everything to the minute, and as the clock showed 5:45, fifteen minutes before our guests were to arrive, David and I congratulated ourselves, sat down, and had a glass of sherry before they arrived. The table was elegantly set, the olive crisps rested on the nambe platter in the living room where martini glasses were chilling beside a bottle of blue gin. The pumpkin soup was in the crock pot, the finnan haddie bubbled in the oven, the parsley potatoes were mashed and hot, the biscuits nestled in a wam napkin. The tomato aspic was prettily unmolded and in the refrigerator with its home-made dressing beside it. Coffee in decanters sat ready on a hot plate, alongside sugar cubes and cream in gleaming silver. The deep-dish apple pie was being gently warmed on another tray, the ice cream to serve with it in the freezer. Water glasses were filled with ice water, wine uncorked. We had managed it all to perfection. We were smug and happy.

The entire evening was a lot of fun with everyone in jovial spirits. Just the night before, we all (except Judy who was still in Bangor)had spent Christmas Eve together at Sydney's, but our enthusiasm for being together for the holidays did not wane in the slightest and we laughed away the hours as friends. I remained to help clean up after the others left, ended up talking even longer with David, and did not get home until 2 A.M.

Phone conversations with Jesse, Carrie, Mike, and Michelle sparked up the day as I moved back and forth from home to David's preparing various food and feeding animals. I missed Carrie's call, but she left a message so I still felt part of her day. The others were timed perfectly for me to receive them during my brief visits back to the house. The dogs got raw-hide chews and the chickens got a head of lettuce to honor the occasion of Christmas. It couldn't have been a nicer day.

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