Dead Batteries are Frustrating!

16 July 2008

Tenth Annual RenFeast

I think it was the closest thing to a normal workday we’ve had on site so far this season.  All of us seemed to be where we ought to be most of the day, doing what we ought to be doing.  Shannon blew glass.  Kelly patterned and designed.  Ginger cut tights.  Susan spent most of her day organizing photos from her most recent trip (to Africa!).  I finished a couple of special order projects and dealt with others through email.  We all just did our own productive little things, until the call of dinner at the Giesen Manor became to loud to ignore.

Years ago, this wonderful, sweet couple I’d gotten to know as pet patrons asked me and the young lady who travelled with me from Texas, to come to their home for dinner.  As it turned out, Stephanie had a date that night, and I flew solo, to Larry and Denise’s home in northern Milwaukee, for a world-class, home-cooked dinner.  Who knew then, that in ten years time, I would come to consider Larry and Denise not just friends, but family, and that the evening of enjoying Larry’s cooking would come to be known as “RenFeast” and grow to include fourteen to twenty people?!  This is an event that we all look forward to each summer, and that any who are invited are loathe to miss.

This year’s gathering was bigger by two, I believe than any before.  The food was beyond amazing, starting with Baked Brie and a spread of appetizers to die for—Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, Corned Beef and Sour Cream on Bagel Tips, and what seemed to me like bite-sized Strawberry Shortcake!  Then, there was the actual appetizer course, of a Chilled Orange-Ginger Carrot Soup.  The main course included both Chicken Kiev and Pepper Crusted Venison Loin with Blackberry Vinaigrette, Asparagus and Hollandaise sauce, Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and the best Creamed Corn I’ve ever had.  And, Larry’s signature dessert, perfect Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee is enough to weaken even the strongest will-power.  We enjoyed one of our favourite white wines, the Vidal from Cedar Creek, with our appetizers, and with the meat course, we switched to a fabulous Rioja that I simply must remember to have Larry identify to Kyle so I can have it again, soon!  It was perfect with the chicken and the deer, and even delightful with the dessert.  Oh, yum.

Most years, I’ve managed to take at least a few fun photos of the gang enjoying the Brie, or sitting around the table, or whatever.  This year, the tenth anniversary of the event, I didn’t take one shot.  I knew heading out, that my camera batteries were low, but I figured I’d get a few shots. I didn’t have time to find my missing brand new package of batteries, and I thought Larry would likely be able to loan me a couple of AA batteries, if necessary.   But, once there, surrounded by so many people I love, I totally forgot about the camera!  It was all about living the moment, not about photographing it.   I was annoyed with myself, upon realizing my neglect, and when I got back to the faire site, I tried to take a couple of shots of the beautiful full moon—only to realize the batteries were really, really dead.

So, I can’t really, honestly blame my lack of photos on the dead batteries–pictured here—but it makes me feel a little better to know that even if I had pulled out my camera, I’d still have no pictures!