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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Vernal Geekuinox 2024: Dinner in a Crystal Palace


For many years now--I'm a little afraid to count them--Pete and Ellen have hosted Geekquinox dinners every spring and fall. A little less than a dozen lucky guests made the pilgrimage to Pete's place and were treated to the finest food and fellowship in the land. 

But this year is different: Pete and Ellen, married last year, have sold their old homes and moved into brand new digs together. The former owners had a thing for glossy, glassy mirrors and chandeliers, and so Pete and Ellen have dubbed their new home the Crystal Palace. 

It's a beautiful home, styled in black and white, with plenty of room to accommodate Pete, Ellen, and the kids, along with their many varied hobbies. 

It even has a spinning disco ball in the basement, and I have convinced Sylvia that we're going to have one installed in our theatre room. VICTORY!

This year's dinner theme was, naturally crystal, though Pete admits that some of the courses have only tenuous connections to the theme. For example, this baked ziti was served in crystal glassware. A thematic stretch? Sure, but who cares when the pasta is so scrumptious?

Here Audrey enjoys a basil lime cocktail. I don't remember what kind of booze this drink contained, but it was universally enjoyed and had SOMETHING to do with crystals. Maybe limeade crystals? No, probably not. 

Steve looks like he's scored a rhetorical point here, and Mike looks quite pleased with the ziti. 

Ellen makes a great sous chef and charming hostess alike, and it was lovely see how happy she and Pete are in their new home. 

Here's Pete pouring out his homemade cheese sauce for fondue. Bread and melted cheese--so simple, so delicious. We gorged on it. Just incredible. 

Margaret contributes one of the many contented smiles enjoyed through the day. 

The Edmonton Oilers had a playoff game last night, and Jeff was fired up for it, even though Pete and Ellen hadn't yet hooked up any televisions upstairs yet. There's always radio! 

Because Geekquinox came so late this year, it falls just a few days before Gaming and Guinness 18. Rob used the opportunity to come for G&G a few days early, joining us for Geekquinox. 

Pete served up some amazing steak fajita slices, cooked to perfection, so juicy and savory we couldn't help but wolf them down like, well, wolves. 

Scott entertained us with an airport security story not repeatable on these pages. 

The chef and the blogger. 

The blogger and the debutante. 

Alas, Sylvia and I had to head home before dessert, but Pete snuck me downstairs so I could photograph his no-doubt-heavenly geode cake. 

Here's a gratuitous high-angle shot of Stephen with the Chandelier of Damocles hanging ominously above.

And a gratuitous shot of Sylvia wearing one of Audrey's crystal-bedazzled accessories. 

Once again, Pete and Ellen gave us a very special gift--an opportunity for fun, fellowship, feasting, and fantastic memories. Thanks, guys. It was amazing, and may you enjoy your new home for many years to come. 

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