For parties larger than six we usually arrange to have someone in to help with the serving and dishes, but given that this gathering would be but six, and good friends at that, we decided to take care of it all ourselves.
The dining room before our guests arrived
The evening’s menu was sublimely straightforward, befitting the first snowy evening of the winter: we started with a simple lemon-and-olive-oil-dressed arugula salad, followed with a main course of braised short-ribs served over polenta and roasted brussel sprouts, and then finished off with a dessert of hot apple crumble made that afternoon and brought by our guests, liberally garnished with ginger ice-cream. Delightful.
Well-fortified with delicious food and liberal pourings of wine throughout the meal we repaired to the drawing room for after-dinner drinks and several hours of enjoyable and spirited conversation that culminated in the reluctant leave-takings of our guests and commitments on all sides to reunite shortly thereafter. We all had a lovely time.
Boy then stumbled off to bed with a sleepy Pompey in his arms, and I repaired to the kitchen to wash the dishes accompanied by late-evening music on our local public radio station and fortified with a tumbler of gin on the rocks. I enjoyed myself standing at the sink while the gorgeous music played, washing and drying the silver, plates, and glasses, and I felt fortunate indeed to have been able to spend such a lovely evening with such dear friends.
The same view the next morning
Photos by Reggie Darling