October 06, 2009

Open House countdown begins...only 74 days until December 20!

Every year, for the past 15 years, we have held a Holiday Open House.  The only time we missed was last year, while we were just barely back in the house and the place was still a disaster.

It is - bar none - the very BEST thing we do all year.  Cooking will start in a couple of weeks' time; we're now at the "menu selection" phase.  Only hors d'oeuvres. Wine aplenty, and of course my Cranberry Cocktail punch.  A LOT of food.  Newbies stagger home; old hands fast for three days prior.  And there are still leftovers!

Tough decisions to make.  There was almost a mutiny one year when the three cheese fondue wasn't on the menu (that was the year we foolishly said "let's try ALL new recipes this year!").  Invitations to make (yeah well I got talked out of that this year, although I think Richard still believes he will find me with a glue gun and felt in the middle of the night weeks from now).  Non-negotiables: the gingerbread cookies personalised with everyone's name (including kids and pets - "no kiddie" couples with two cats score big time).

Sometimes there's snow. It's increasingly cold and bitter in mid-December. Friends who have met here and only connect on this one magical day, talking as if they had just had coffee together two weeks' prior.  Kids that we've seen grow up, and new babies still arriving. Our "Food Bank" box for non-perishables, to give back something amid the plenty.

The piano player loves coming - and sadly it's the only time the piano is used.  Servers have, in the past, been stuck in the grungy basement to prep food for serving - this year will be an embarrassment of riches in our kick-ass kitchen.

Let the marathon begin.