Man, was that fun!
Here are the photos I took, such as they are. I wish I'd taken more, but there was too much good food and good conversation. Unsurprisingly, there was plenty of food and then some. Captions are underneath the corresponding photo.
This was so cool - while we were eating, Jessica got up, very low key, and said she wanted to read us a book one of her mentors had given her: Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco - the story of a young girl who overcomes her learning disability thanks to an exceptional teacher. (So thank you
, Jessica. Your passion is showing - I have no doubt you'll also be an exceptional teacher.)
Here's an excerpt: The grandpa held the jar of honey so that all the family could see, then dipped a ladle into it and drizzled honey on the cover of a small book.
"Taste! What is that taste?"
The little girl answered, "Sweet!"
"Yes, and so is knowledge, but knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book!"
Beautiful prose, worthy subject, captive audience, (you'll see why, when you see the pictures of the food down thread) touching story - I had to get up and pretend to go into the kitchen for something because I was getting a little misty-eyed. *sniff*
Now, drum roll, please: Here's pictures of some of the food (not nearly everything...I missed so much!) Thank god it was my free (from my diet) weekend!
Here's a gorgeous fruit Trifle from Andrea E. of Q&A Sweet Treats
in LaGrange, along side my tasty but not-as-photogenic "Splendiferous Coconut Cake" (so christened by one of our gracious hosts at the Cardinal Harbour Pavilion, Ed Vermillion.)
You realize, of course, that Vermillion totally
rhymes with Pavilion- right?
*I run off to write a rap song*
Look upon this and weep, non-attenders. You know what you're not having right now? My jalapeno-pimento cheese deviled eggs, that's what! They were quite a bit spicier than I've made them before - I found a can of "red pickled jalapenos" in the grocery and added them into my regular spicy-egg-salad version of the filling (that pepper mix even had pickled carrots in it, yum!). I'll just go ahead and 'fess up here that I've already eaten four more halves of the leftover ones since we got home - and I'm so full, but I just...can't...stop.
I'll be fascinated to find out who made this beautiful shrimp salad - what a gorgeous presentation! I couldn't find anybody to take credit for it, so - whoever you are - confess!
This is an embarrassingly crappy, too-close-up photo of something delightful: Jessica's numptious Hash Brown Casserole.
I told her it was the only thing I went back for seconds of. With so much to choose from, one must choose one's "seconds" wisely.
Here's David Pierce's Bourbon Barrel Stout Chocolate Cake with Belgian Chocolate/Bourbon Ganache Icing.
It was so good, I got mad
for a minute!
Okay, here's the deal. This is my Bourbon Butter Grilled Corn. Nice presentation, and I think I cooked it to the proper temp (but I have to say, it cooled off too quickly for my taste). But since there were families attending, I flamed the bourbon off before I added it to the butter. Unfortunately, I think that subtracted all the bourbon flavor from the equation...sort of making the whole thing a pale imitation of what it's been (for me) before.
Note to self: Don't skimp on the booze, silly.
Okay, these are Andrea E's cookies. Ladies (and I am in no way kidding): lasso your husbands and man your cookie-making stations. She may have stolen our cookie-mojo - but she'll never take our FREEEEDOMMMMMMMM! (/Braveheart)
I was thinking: Dang, this place is swank as all get-out! They have a florist come in and decorate when they rent out the clubhouse!
But, no: the flower arrangements were done by Cindy S., Ed V's beautiful bride (he always calls her that!). "How did you do it?!!!!" I said. "It was easy, I just went out into the yard...." she replied.
I am in awe. If I made an arrangement of stuff I found in our yard in the Highlands, it would be a conglomerate of an old piece of indoor-outdoor carpet, a tire-tracked, turquoise thong bikini bottom from our parking space, some decrepit magnolia blossom petals from the tree out front, and a sheaf of flyers from Grateful Threads, down the street.
This is the Cookie Inspector(Andrea and Mike's kid, Miles). You can tell he's the Cookie Inspector, because it says so on his shirt.I'm sorry, M'aam - no cookies beyond this point unless they're liquified in a food processor and also stored in a clear polythene bag.
Hey: I, for one, welcome my new one-year-old-Alien-Overlords!
We now interrupt our regularly scheduled program to let you know that Cap'n Ed V. (of the Prospect Fire Dept.) says his favorite book from childhood is "Little Toot" by Hardie Gramatky.
Sure it is, Ed.
Sure, it is.
Here's Carol C., Andrea E and Miles the Magnificent.
Miles: Could we please get on with this?
I tried to get a picture of Carla Griffin for several minutes. Judging from this picture I finally snapped, well...she's in the Witness Protection Program. No doubt about it.
More shots of donated books. You might be surprised to find out we (HotBytes forum members) donated over 150 books, not including gift certificates. That's like at least $600-worth of books!
Here's Pierce and his son, Bryce. Future brewers, Unite!
This is a great picture of John and I that Jessica took, outside. It would make a good "we got engaged" picture...if we actually had. Which we didn't.
Now, say this three times, fast.
That's what I thought.