This evening's party was quite a success. It took a lot of energy, shopping, preparation, and planning spread out over the last three days. It will take another two to get all the dishes, glasses, etc back where they belong.
The occasion was to celebrate Regina and Declan's upcoming wedding that will take place in Italy. Three other friends will be joining them there for the ceremony and then staying on in Italy for two months. One more will join the group over the Christmas and New Year holidays. After some thirty years, the Gay Family will not be together for the major end of the year holidays so it was wonderful to be with everyone before the Italian adventures began.
On arrival white and red wine and soft drinks were served. A tray with two types of salsa and chips as well as one of crackers with two types of cheese were available. The 100" table (that usually serves as Gregory's desk) was set, including flowers and candles, still against the wall where it usually lives, to be moved into the middle of the room when it was time it eat. The end of the counter was set for four more and a table for six was set and waiting in the bedroom closet to be brought into the living room at dinner time. Folding chairs were at the ready.
We did a sit down dinner, served buffet style for twenty people. Arrival was scheduled at 4:00 with dinner served at 5:00. The timing on the food was perfect. The corn pudding was in the crock pot from 1:00 until 5:00. The spiral cut ham was in the oven from 1:00 until 4:00 and then sat until dinner time. The pre-cooked turkey breast was warmed from 4:00 until 5:00. The haricot vert (french green beans) provincial were cooked yesterday and warmed in the oven from 4:00 until 5:00. The yams were peeled earlier today and cooked in brown sugar and orange juice between 4:00 and 5:00, and finished off in the microwave. Bread was warmed in the oven with the other 4:00 - 5:00 items. Roger made a cranberry horseradish moose and combined the Romain, lemon, olive oil, and kosher salt making a Tuscan salad. By 5:15 everyone was seated and enjoying a delicious meal. Gregory and I were so proud!
A milestone at this party is that Ivanca, our housekeeper, was here to help with last minute prep before the party, to take coats and serve drinks, and then to pour water after people were sitting. She joined us for dinner and then worked throughout the rest of the party cleaning up. What a blessing and valued part of our family she is.
Dessert consisted of a chocolate Devil's food sheet cake, double layered with chocolate moose in between, and with chocolate butter cream frosting. Huge pieces of cake were served with vanilla ice cream. People commented on how huge the cake portions were … but ate it all. Only Regina shared her cake with Declan but that is understandable as she said, "I do have to fit into my wedding dress you know." Finally, more wine and coffee and visiting.
Parties like this are not done too often. The labor and energy toll is extensive. The expense wasn't even calculated. But being able to "share the love" with people you care for in the "sanctity of one's home" is such a joyful gift. We are grateful for being able to have done this.