Our neighbor and friend, Christina Reeve, has hosted wonderful pre-Christmas dinners for a number of years. Chris, a culinary artist, is in charge of the food for these parties, aided by her friend Anita and cousin Gigi, who likewise know their way around a kitchen. Recently, Chris’ daughter, Jessica, (aided by Anita), decided to turn the tables and surprise Chris with a birthday party. Jessica is a director of culinary services for Bon Appetit, a top-flight catering company. As you might guess, the feast was wonderful.
I took along my camera and shot photos of the food. But what I most enjoyed was shooting the people. (I know that last sentence sounds a bit odd.) I enjoy recording the character in the faces of friends we have known and appreciated for many years. Most of my photos are un-posed candids; I simply try to capture a familiar expression. Sometimes they turn out well; sometimes they don’t. Here are the ones I particularly liked from Christina’s party (in no particular order). My apologies to the folks whose photos I missed — there’s always next time.
Christina Reeve — Our frequent host and nearby neighbor for thirty-four years. Apparently she is only three years old (or maybe thirty, if each candle stands for ten years).
Jessica Reeve — We’ve known Jessica since she was a little girl. We remember how she loved horses. Now she’s staked out a career in the food catering business.
Carole Robinson — Another friend from the day we moved to Villa Park in 1977 and I was assigned as the Robinsons’ home teacher. Carole’s husband, Max, was our dentist until he became incapacitated; now her son, Chris, takes care of our teeth. Max was one of the greatest bishops ever; Carole is an inspiration to all widowed women.
Elaine Greene — The Greenes, friends for years, are now one of my home teaching families. Elaine is a talented administrator and teacher, having held nearly every Church position imaginable (at least until women are given the priesthood).
Bob Greene — I used to play basketball with Bob who was a banking executive until his retirement. He was formerly our Stake President and is now LDS Public Affairs Director for Orange County. The Greenes’ children grew up with our children.
Herb Warren — Formerly our bishop and an all-around great guy, Herb is a veterinarian specializing in race horses.
Connie Maude — Blessed with a beautiful soprano singing voice, Connie has been a mainstay of our ward choir for as long as I can remember.
Les Maude — A good friend and faithful ward member, Les can build or fix anything (sort of my polar opposite in that respect).
Connie Gwilliam — Our ward chorister forever. You’ll never hear a hymn dragging when Connie is in charge. I realize how spoiled we are when I visit other other wards and hear hymns sung like funeral dirges.
Weldon Jolley — Another of my home teachees, Weldon is a former bishop, is currently a patriarch, and was a research scientist with honors and credentials that would fill a book.
Dawn Thurston — What can I say about Dawn? A brilliant woman who has given her talents in many Church positions, from Relief Society president to Young Women’s president, to Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society teacher. And, she’s a fabulous life story writing teacher. All this while having to endure that husband of hers!
Nathan Reeve — The other of Jessica’s twin boys.
Joshua and Nathan.
Christina, Jessica and the beautiful birthday cake.
And now to the food — here is an overview of some of the scrumptious fare.
Chinese Chicken Salad (fresh roasted chicken on the side).
There were several varieties of sandwiches, including this turkey on marble rye.
Roast beef, cheddar, lettuce & tomato.
A cheese board with candied walnuts and pecans, which I find go great with any dish! Just behind the cheeses is a tray of cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, which turned out to be my favorite.
What’s for dessert, you ask? How about huge chocolate-dipped tuxedoed strawberries?
If strawberries seem overly healthy, there were plenty of other choices, including out-of-this-world home-made lemon bars.
One of the many little items of decoration in the Reeve home. When we were all younger the Reeves raised rabbits. (We don’t have to raise them, they seem to understand that our yard is their dining room.)
T H E E N D !