Sunday, January 10, 2010

Parties within parties

December got away from me somehow, and it looks like January has headed off in search of it ... I feel I've been catapulted into this new year, this new decade, with a force and a fury I have never experienced in previous years.  

But just before I pick myself up and dust myself off, I want to capture some of the moments of the Christmas party season at Nilgiris. Many of the evenings were memorable (the night of the Citizens on Patrol dinner, for example, given to them to congratulate the faithful patrollers for a job well done but where the chief topic of conversation was how three business had been broken into the night before!); some were poignant (like the medical office staff's chocolate fondue which, as it turns out, will be without both doctors' wives next Christmas); and some parties introduced me to new groups of people who were not familiar with the TH before and who have subsequently come back for a New Year's visit! There is one party I have catered a couple of times where I grit my teeth, compromise my Coke standards and principles and buy a bottle of Pepsi for a staunch P-brain dinner guest (once a year, but that's it!) ...
The secrets to a successful party at the TH seem to include these: ambience, food, congenial people, and The Volunteers. It amazes me what gets done at this place thanks to people who phone me up and say they would like to give me an hour of their precious time to wash dishes or an afternoon of food prep or a thorough vacuum of the TH between events or a meat carving job or a waitress's hands and energy. I am notoriously understaffed at the best of times, and these people are sent to me exactly when I need them most.

The kitchen is where the magic happens, and the kitchen is where we conduct the party within the main party. The kitchen is where some of the happiest times take place. We prepare a table in the kitchen, complete with table cloths and stemware, and we join together to eat our dinner, in triumph and exhaustion and with a weather eye out for our guests! I am sorry I don't have pictures of all the people who've been such a help to me in November and December; but from the pictures I do have, you can get the drift.

So in alphabetical order, thank you Agatha, BethAnne, Bob, Brenda, Cathryn, Cindy, Dad, Deborah Joy, Dianne, Doreen, Jackie, Leona, Marlowe, Matthew, Rosalind, Ted, Theresa; as well as the staff who worked extra shifts: Brent, Corinne, Curtis, Krista, Lois. This place is blessed by you -- I am blessed by you. When you're in my kitchen, joys are truly multiplied and burdens are truly halved.

When you're in my kitchen, that's my favourite place to be!

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