"The Tenderloin" will be the entree for Christmas 2008 dinner. Christmas is in beautiful Monterey this year, at the home of my best friend, who I've known since childhood, and his lovely wife. This has been the setting for so many memorable events over the years, including the celebration of the new millenium.
We also lost two cats, which by no means should be compared to the loss of a friend or family member, but it's significant nonetheless. You get them as kittens, they're part of your family for years and years, they get sick or old, and then they're gone. But as with friends and family who pass, you remember the good things about them, not the bad ones. You remember how warm they could be on a winter night with snow outside ... but selectively forget that they clawed a speaker or curtain beyond repair. You remember how glad they're still around to enrich your life, and forget the thousands of dollars that you may have spent to get them through an illness.
Annabelle and Cody were both "chosen" from future litters. Annie was a mutt, but I knew the parents and had watched a couple litters of awesome kitties go quickly. My co-worker was pretty adamant that they didn't want the mother to have another litter, but I "pre-ordered" the choice female, should she decide to take nature into her own hands. She did, and we picked our little Annie from a big litter of cute tabby-siamese kitties.
In her early years, she used to run at top speed from one end of the house to the other, then fly up the curtains and hang by her claws from the top rungs. She was always a "jumper" and had no problem even in her older years, getting up onto mantles, tall beds, counters, or anywhere else she wanted to get to (commonly to eat a plant, much to our dismay). She was bitchy, moody, nasty to her roommates, and earned and maintained the moniker of "bitch kitty from hell" very early on. But she was also a lover, and would lay purring for hours on a congenial lap or shoulder. Annabelle made it to 18, and one final move back to California before her age caught up with her.
Cody, or "Codycat" as I called him, would of course terrorize the other three girl kitties regularly, because it was his job and he understood this all too well. Chasing them up and down the stairs, cornering them in a hallway, taking an occasional swat at one of them with paws the size of a child's hand, were all part of the daily routine. Cody managed to pick up diabetes at about 9 years old, so the last two years of his life weren't tremendously pleasant, but we of course did everything we needed to, because that's what you do for your pets. Although cats have minds of their own and totally lack the "aim to please" attitude of dogs, they're members of your family. And you miss them when they're gone.
So Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and wishing everyone a great 2009.
- Steamed artichokes
- Lobster bisque
- Amuse bouche of lemon sorbet with grated tangerine zest, mint garnish, served on a Chinese soup spoon
- Whole beef tenderloin with a wild mushroom duxelle stuffing, served with a port wine reduction
- Broccoli casserole
- Potatoes au Gratin
- Small, mixed dessert tray