Dinner for Friends

Last year about this time i cooked dinner for my dear old friends and ex-colleagues – Rick, Nancy, and Kurt –  and i had so much fun doing that that i talked ’em into letting me do it again.

This year i’m serving them Chile Verde, Cranberry Beans, and Grandmother’s Cornbread.  They ain’t gettin’ a salad because i’m not much on salads in the winter although i just got a recipe for pickled beets from David that sounds so good that i can imagine creating a salad around them.  Maybe next year.  The cranberry beans i bought fresh in October, shelled, blanched to kill that enzymatic activity so as to preserve the fresh taste, and froze.  All i’m doing to them is cooking them slowly with disks of Chantenay carrot and some yellow onion.

For dessert they’re getting a Dianda Almond Torte, a legendary dessert better than anything i can make that also will trigger memories of our days as colleagues at Oracle when i’d bring these things into the office for everyone….or at least the first comers.

On the 4th of December i lucked out and got a pic of 21st Street’s famous Christmas Tree house just as the cherry picker had arrived to begin the decorations.  Here’s what it looked like this morning.  Tom and Jerry, the owners of the place, have been decorating that tree since it was about six feet tall 25 years or so ago, and provide a bench for Santa Claus to sit on so that kids from all over the city can come by in the evenings leading up to Christmas for photo ops and chats with Santa.

Christmas Tree House on 21st

Before dessert, i led my friends over to this house, where we enjoyed watching folks talk with Santa.  To continue my tradition, i walked up to Santa and handed him a jar of marmalade.  Here’s the place at night before the crowd swelled:

Christmas Tree House on 21st

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