December 29, 2006

K&K December 2006

kith and kin
(1) One's acquaintances and relatives.
(2) One's relatives.
[Middle English kith, from Old English cith, kinsfolk, neighbors.]

Word History: Kith is obsolete except in the alliterative phrase kith and kin, which originally meant “native land and people” and first appeared about 1377 in Piers Plowman. Kith comes from the Old English noun cith, “knowledge; known, familiar country; acquaintances, friends.”
It's one of those unfortunate realities of life that the older you get, the harder it is to keep up with all your friends. I blame it on the pressures of maintaining gainful employment in a free market economy.

To combat this, years ago, the old high school gang started getting together for dinners periodically, to make sure we kept in touch with one another and stayed current on each others lives. J called these our "Kith and Kin" dinners... I'd never heard of that phrase before, but after learning of its meaning, it seemed perfectly appropriate. These are get-togethers among close friends, and they ensure that we'll always be "known" and "familiar" to one another.

Fast forward several years to the end of 2006 -- the K&K's live on! Lots of changes though: some of us are married, some of us have kids (!!), and some of us (yours truly) are moving out of the area. Lav and I wanted to host a K&K dinner at our still relatively new home for the first time, so we put this menu together as a way of celebrating friendships and the start of a new year.

roasted beet salad
arugula, mint, cashew

squid and clams
parsley "pesto" with ginger and lemongrass tea broth

porchetta "sandwich"
fresh mozzarella, avocado, basil, shaved fennel

18-hour braised shortrib
carrot, peas, melted red onion, celery root puree

vanilla panna cotta
kumquat, kiwi

There are a lot of things in store for us as we prepare to relocate to Seattle in 2007, and it's coming faster than we expected! It'll be tough to leave our friends and family here, but we're also looking forward to the spectacular adventures that are sure to be in store for us in the Pacific Northwest! In a small way, this was a perfect way to close out a fantastic year -- great friends, good food and drink, excellent times. Rest assured, we'll be flying back for future K&K's!

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