12/2013 Meeting

Page Created:  01/02/14.  Last Updated:  01/22/14.
Holiday Party / Pot Luck Dinner
Meeting Date:  December 22, 2013
Meeting Site:  Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church
Official Attendance:  22
Meeting Program:  Holiday Party / Pot Luck Dinner / Classic Television Commercials Video
Thomas Schoenborne has been identified as the person who brought the vegetable platter.  Thanks, Tom.
Newsletter Account
The following account is reprinted with permission from  THE STARSHIP EXPRESS  Copyright 2013  Philip J De Parto:
It took some huffin' and puffin' and movin' and shakin," but the annual Holiday Party Pot Luck Dinner of the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County was held at the Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 22, 2013.  The event had originally been scheduled for the night of Saturday, December 14, 2013, but had to be rescheduled due to snow.  Everyone who commented on the change of plans was in favor of it.  If anyone felt this was a bad idea, they have kept their thoughts to themselves.
As expected, there were some people who had been available to make the original date who were not free on the 22nd, and some were free on the 22nd who were not available on the original date.  The absolute numbers more-or-less balanced out.  We regret the inconvenience to anyone who had plans for the Sunday reschedule.
There were a couple of side-benefits to the change of plans.  The first is that we ran the event earlier in the day to accommodate the work schedules of our members.  We started at 3:00 and concluded at 8:00 PM.  The daylight made it easier for people unfamiliar with the venue to find the Church.  Traffic was also lighter due to the Blue Laws of Bergen County.
Philip De Parto, Charles Garofalo, Roy Greenberg, Kathy Holusha, Conor Mc Callam, Randie O'Neil, Tom Schoenborne and Pamela Webber were the first group to arrive.  Our thanks to their assistance with the set-up and to everyone who helped with the clean-up.
Our appetizers included cheese, crackers and salsa (Tom and Sue Duchak), a fruit platter (Tom Schoenborne), home made bread (Richard Herr), and spinach artichoke dip with chips (Randie O'Neil).
Main dishes included baked macaroni (Maria Mascaro), meat balls (Charles Garofalo), London broil (Pamela Webber), pasta with vegetables (Roy Greenberg), rotisserie chicken (John Jurich), Skywalker stew (Gregor Hartmann), fried chicken (Taras Wolansky) and browned ground beef (Philip De Parto).
Side and vegetable dishes included green salad (Kathy Holusha), waldorf salad (Steve Herr), a vegetable platter (I'm not sure who brought this, but thanks), smoked salmon pinwheels with cream cheese (Claire and Drew Sterling), sautéed vegetables (Pamela Webber), ratatouille & quinoa (Jeni Spiewak), string bean casserole (Phil), white rice (Phil), and stuffing (Phil).
Desserts included cakes (George Galuschak and Greg Roman), cookies (Kathy Holusha and others), apple pie (Phil) and candy (don't remember who brought this).  Roy, Pam and Phil brought a variety of juices, sodas, seltzer, coffee, tea and milk.
There were lots of yummy things there.  My personal favorite was Gregor's Skywalker Stew, a Tunesian dish with beef, olives, onions and spices.  I'm surprised that there was so much left over.  I went back for thirds.  He's welcome to bring that to any gathering I attend.  An unexpected hit was the Bell's stuffing I brought.  I had never used this brand, but it got lots of raves.
There were a number of conversational clumps which lasted most of the night.  One consisted of writers George, Gregor and Rich.  Another was Pat, John, Steve, Kathy and Randie.  another group clustered around Tom S and Conor.
Several people purchased copies of Rich's self-published humorous YA science fiction novel, INVASION FROM FRED.  Tom S was doing something-or-other on the computer, but I never saw exactly what.  Conor and Gregor were talking about Japan and anime before the dinner bell rang.
All in all, a nice time for everyone.