A couple of new friends mixed things up a little. Here is the menu.
Bruschetta with pesto, prosciutto, Gruyere and Parmesan.
Demitasse cups with hot mulled cider or crushed peppermint rimmed ginger ale and eggnog
Iceberg salad wedge with garlic ranch sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts
Hot white roll with individual butter dish
Stuffed pork loin medallions with grilled apple slices drizzled with apple cream sauce.
Mashed white and sweet potato with balsamic, vanilla, rosemary, butter and cream.
Press Pot coffee
Burnt Creme (Creme Brulee)
Lemon Curd Tart
Molten Chocolate Cake
The last ones out the door left at 11:45.
As they gathered to be seated, I collected every one's cell phone in a basket. Made a few break into a sweat. Even on vibrate, it breaks the spell and fragments the experience of being here now. They might have thought I was being controlling, doing it for me. I was doing it for them, to have an opportunity to experience being fully engaged in the moment - where they were and who they were with. That pile of phones went off and off and off. I should have padded them or stuffed a pillow over the top.
Between the meal and dessert, everyone picked a wrapped present from under the tree. Brita had helped Tessa pick out some hilarious things from the dollar store, which they wrapped beautifully.
I read the story of The Wright family. Each time the word Wright, left or right came up in the story, which was frequently, they had to pass the gift accordingly. It went fast and made everyone laugh.
One of the sweetest gifts Brita gave us both was changing her mind. At first, she said she didn't want to help wait and serve. She ended up being indispensable in the kitchen. Sometimes, when saying no is an option, changing it to yes is really a yes. She had such a yes heart for the entire endeavor. It worked seamlessly because of her generosity.