I spent the afternoon getting the food prepped so I wouldn't be chained to the kitchen when they arrived.
I set and decorated the tables the night before:
The next day I started by making an apple blackberry pie.
While the pie was in the oven, I started the bread dough rising for our dinner rolls. They came out of the oven just before our guests arrived.
Next I cooked the lasagne components and defrosted some tomato sauce I had made during the summer tomato bonanza. I assembled it so all I had to do was pop it in the oven an hour before serving dinner.
|Three layers: first a ladle full of sauce, and then line the pan with cooked lasagne noodles.|
|Sprinkle sauteed mushrooms and Italian sausage over the sauce.|
|Throw on a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat twice. Shave Parmesan cheese over the top.|
When our guests arrived, I was able to wander around the property with them while Brett gave the meet-and-greet grand tour. The couple both worked in law enforcement before retiring, like Brett, so the talk around the dinner table was heavy on police war stories. Some of the stories were funny, some were sad, and some were enough to make your blood boil; police politics and city politics and behavior driven by ego and not ethics. Let's just say I am so happy that Brett retired when he did and that those frustrating years are well behind us.
Now he can patrol the property, keep the animals safe, and lend assistance to our ranch citizens.