The house was tidied up, and the 1960's Aluminum Tree and color wheel assembled. This is not a reproduction but an actual tree from the Sixties, complete with old color wheel. The house seemed empty without Barkley, but guests in nice clothes (one with a serious dog allergy) a table full of snack sized food, and a excitable lab don't always mix. So he was having a sleepover elsewhere during the party, though I made him his own dog friendly "cheese straws" for later.
Just a few things left to do. Extra chairs were brought over and a couple digital cameras were made available for guests to take shots to share by email later.
Chips, fresh veggies and dips were prepared.
The Pimento Cheese Dip was a huge hit (recipe in the comments).
Eggnog was made and the bar was readied with some things for cocktails, plus red wine, mead and . . . Liquid Wrench? That got a few smiles before it was set aside and drinks mixed.
Of course there were toys, you can't have a house full of geeks without toys. Radio Controlled helicopters, board games and of course, the stuff in the shop. The hosts and designated drivers got to play with the lathe in the Bat Cave. (I think the camera crew for this one got some spiked eggnog but you get the somewhat blurry idea).
Someone, get a picture. To friends!
The evening went well, even as the food disappeared, no limbs were lost in the Bat Cave and there was only one or two near mid airs with the RC helicopters. Time to open the White Elephant Gifts, which some of the group brought to share.
The party wrapped up about 1 am, everyone tired and full, heading home to sleep and church the next morning. It was a great time but I was getting sleepy as well. Dishes were washed and soon, I too, was snoozing.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
The weekend wasn't over yet, Sunday, was cold and grey, but the earlier rain had let up. The phone rang about noon. It was time for another adventure, a late lunch with Midwest Chick and Mr. B.
The decor was dated, yet the overeager wallpaper, framed prints and a room full of families wearing everything from day wear to formal suits with bowler hats just "fit", and if you add in the accordion player that frequents the place some days it doesn't get more Polish than that. The buffet itself is a bit smaller than most "buffet restaurants", but quality takes time, and there was everything we wanted, all tasting like something one's Polish Grandmother spent all day cooking.
There's daily specials in addition to the daily sausages and chicken, carved beef and ham. This day was turkey and a pork tenderloin that was as good as Mom ever made, plus all kinds of side dishes (perogies!) salads, homemade noodle soups and homemade bread with honey butter (check them out at www.angieswarsawinn.com )
There was much catching up, tales of daring, stories of mountaineering and dog hair and the latest in home renovations, during this wonderful meal which Mr. B.generously treated us all to.
After the last little plate of pastries and blintzes was picked up by our outstanding waitress, plans were made for a weekend together after the New Year. A few hugs were dispensed, goodbyes were exchanged and it was time for the long drive back home. Our waitress offered money off coupons for the next visit. There WILL be a next visit, I'm certain.
Soon it was home and nighttime again, a couple hours to just put the feet up with a glass of Mead, Dr. Who and many thanks for good friends and the blessings they bring, year round.