Got back this afternoon from a really wonderful weekend in Washington DC at Mary's house for our annual pre-Christmas celebration. This year, there were just four of us: me, Mary, Fran and Matt ... oh yes, I meant five of us... Milo, too.
Drove down Saturday morning and the party started at dinner. First was the hors d'oeuvres... Mary made these (now I can't remember the name) but it's flavored cream cheese with seasoned, dressed chopped tomatoes on top of little rounds of French bread.
I should be embarrassed to show my heaping plate, but here goes... We had meat loaf, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, beet salad and ceasar salad. Looking at the empty plate of appetizers with lots of little tomato bits left, I suggested we dump the tomatoes into the ceasar salad making it some other kind of salad, but it was good. Oh yes, and Mary made rolls. She mentioned a number of times how much butter went in, but I'd mentally stick my fingers in my ears and say la-la-la-la-la but I believe that's why the rolls were so good. I wanted ignorance of butter content to be bliss.
Matt was the designated helper... here he is mashing the potatoes (enough actually for three times as many people):
And opening the wine. We have a tradition of drinking Proseco which we believe is more of a breakfast/brunch wine, but hey, we don't care. We add tomatoes to ceasar salad!
Meanwhile, Milo watched us and snoozed...
For dessert, Mary had made a chocolate pie and Fran had made a ricotta cheesecake. Unplanned, these two desserts were a perfect complement. The chocolate pie was deep and dense and rich, and the cheesecake was light and airy with a bit of lemon... and then, of course, a squirt of whipped cream to top it off.
Here are the three of us looking way more demure than we were acting:
Matt is way better looking that this, but he is showing off his present from Michelle which was a beer coozie that's like a glove... and very patriotic... it's like a fingerless glove... oh well, here it is:
So that was Saturday. On Sunday, it was Mary and me and it was nice to spend quality time with Mary and we just talked and then laughed at various YouTube videos... oh yes, and we ate breakfast. If Mary goes first, I am going to say at her memorial service, not that she was my best friend, kind heart, generous, loving, compassionate, funny, smart, etc.. Nah... what I'm going to say is, "Jeez, she made the best damn scrambled eggs..." and here they are, along with bacon and a Wolferman's English muffin.
By the way, this photo was to illustrate that all weekend it was close to 70 degrees. Definitely not Christmas like. And even now, back in NYC, it's past 8pm and I still have the garden door open. It's a little cool now, but not enough to get up to close the door.
So I was feeling like a beer. I probably drink three beers a year (really), but when I'm in the mood for one of my three, I need that beer. So Matt brought this -- drank it out of the bottle and it just hit the spot.
So Fran arrived as well and we ordered from a neighborhood Italian place... this is the order: one chicken parmesan, one 4-cheese ravioli, one spaghetti with sausage and some kind of sauce, and one shrimp on angel hair with some kind of sauce. All was wonderful. Here's the shrimp dish:
Later on, when I was upstairs in my room, I had my suitcase open and had started to pack up. I had the suitcase open on the bed and put clothes in one half of it so the other half was totally empty. Milo came nosing around, loved the suitcase as his new bed and got in and slept for a while. I knew he would be torn between his new bed and sleeping with Mary. Well, Mary won out over my suitcase and he joined her.
So then this morning, we got up around 8, and I left around 9, still mild but foggy and had a totally uneventful trip home which is just the way I like it.