Hollinger Services Inc. wasn't lacking in celebratory humor and holiday cheer, and they pulled out all the stops to make it memorable.
Ridgeway Brass Quartet offered the evenings entertainment, with a little help from Jeff Eisenbise. They played while guests arrived, mingled, and enjoyed appetizers.
Appetizers included a sparkling cranberry punch with citrus slices, wedges of brie, Havarti and smoked cheddar, and dried kiwi and cranberries.
The second course, salad and bread, offered a baby spinach and mushroom salad with pistachios and dried cherries, Caesar salad with freshly grated Parmesan, and homemade 14 grain bread fresh from the oven. Jeff provided three delicious jams from his summer harvest - strawberry, peach and raspberry.
Kitchen, chef and wait staff included my husband David, Jake Shirk, me, daughter Layne, and Sarah Brill. Food prep for 30 took a solid two days with the help of my mother in law, Vada, and good friend Maggie. Jake, Layne and Sarah logged over 5 hours that night with clean up, and David and I were finished and out of the kitchen by 11. The biggest trick was figuring out the logistics of the whole thing ahead of time!
We rented tables, chairs and tablecloths from Harrisburg Rent-all off the Toll House Road exit on route 230. Having used them numerous times, I'm always impressed by their selection of party furniture, flatware and glassware, serving supplies, and cheerful customer service.
The main course, served buffet style, included mini zucchini salmon cakes, slow-roasted tandoori pork with mango chutney, roasted potatoes with caramelized onions, rice pilaf with apricots and mushrooms, and stir fried green beans and red bell peppers. Doing these in the wok at the last minute with just olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper worked perfectly - no soggy veggies!
The dessert table featured mini non-fat cheesecake tarts with cherry pie filling, gingersnaps (by request!) and double chocolate brownies drizzled in fudge.
The evening ended with a holiday sing-a-long with the brass quartet, and a few simple, well-chosen words offered by Kathy Haldeman for my parents on behalf the the staff. Mom, it turns out, is finally retiring - or at least will begin to try in earnest.
Hollinger Services will continue under the capable hands of John Snowden, and for now at least, Mom and Dad still have a small office space in which to continue giving their time and talent to their favorite non-profits and causes. Congratulations!