Tom Traylor offers Polish vodka between courses at the Knox Heritage dinner at the Ashes’ home.
Pierogies, borscht, cabbage. Ah, the food of Poland.
And vodka, of course. Potato vodka.
Forty folks shelled out $170 each for these delicacies last week, along with a chance to dine at the Sequoyah Hills home of former Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe and his wife, Joan.
The evening was lovely. The Ashes have increased their already extensive international art collection and have recently added an art gallery and swimming pool to the historic property, a storybook cottage on Kingston Pike designed by Barber and McMurry in 1921.
City of Knoxville Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, on the balcony, was one of the event’s hosts. This is overlooking the new pool area. Below are other hosts, from left, Dana Traylor, Kevin Murphy and Rosa Mar.
The beautiful new pool.
How cute is this? A sprite studying the theory of relativity.
Host Duane Grieve welcomed guests with zapiekanki — Polish mini pizzas.
I love pierogies — and there were plenty of them!
Host Narda Cappuccilli was hard at work in the kitchen.
That’s where we found Ellen Adcock, left, and Joan Ashe, as well.
Hosts Bob Whetsel and Cindy Hassil.
Guests Claudia and Barry Ritchie enjoying the lead-up to dinner.
Some of the more unusual art on display.
I loved this!
Host Deborah Sams with a campaign poster from Ashe’s first run for Knoxville mayor. He served in that post from 1987 to 2003.
I loved this photo of the Ashes, right, with George W. and Laura Bush taken in 1983.
Hosts hard at work prior to dinner service.
Lovely table settings.
Melynda Whetsel did a beautiful job with the flowers. (It’s her thing!)
Guests Michael and Nancy Lofaro.
Guest Renee Hoyos chats with Bob Whetsel.
Guest Alan Carmichael with hosts Rosa Mar, left, and Mickey Mallonee.
I love this! It’s by Donna Brass of Lenoir City.
Hosts Nancy Castle, left, and Donna Griffith.
Hosts Kim Henry, left, and Dana Traylor.
Soon, we were called to supper and a cold borscht (beet soup) called “chlodnik.” Great for a summer starter.
Cute little vodka glasses were at each place setting, and Polish vodka was poured between courses as is traditional in Poland.
I was seated next to my friend Steve Drevik.
Other friends at our table: Jane and Rich Ray.
My favorite course — golabki (cabbage rolls). “Golabki proves you can do more with cabbage than make coleslaw,” the menu accurately stated.
The main entree featured roasted duck from Warsaw (Indiana)! It’s a secret weapon of Joan Ashe, who is from Indiana. Prep time: 3 to 4 minutes, according to Joan. “The best duck recipe ever,” she exclaims. Call Maple Leaf Farms at 1-800-348-2812 or order online at www.mapleleaffarms.com!
Victor made a few remarks. That’s Kevin Murphy, chair of the Knox Heritage Board, looking on.
We moved outside for dessert.
Kevin was pouring my favorite wine: Primaterra pinot grigio.
Guests Jarrod Blue, left, and John Law.
Guests Sheila and Ron Fuchs.
Host Joan Easterly, left, with Joan Ashe.
Kimbro Maguire had a great idea. We went to look at the sweet little chapel Victor’s late mother, Martha, had built on the property.
Madonna and child in the chapel.
On the way back up to the dessert festivities, we got this great view of the back of the house.
We found Mickey Mallonee, left, and Ellen Adcock standing guard at the dessert table.
Guests Nancy Voith and Kenneth Stark.
From left, Lee Ann Rogers, Steve Drevik and Deborah Franklin.
Chuckie Kirby, left, and Mickey Mallonee.
Craig Griffith lighting the “dessert tree!”
Also offered: Tiramisu, everyone’s favorite.
Cute spoons for coffee service.
Penny Lynch, left, with Bill and Susan Morris.
Two pooped hosts, Glen Castle and Tom Traylor, taking a load off.
We bade adieu to Mickey, left, Knox Heritage Executive Director Kim Trent, and our host.
And we passed one of my favorite outdoor pieces.
Our little jaunt to Poland had come to a close. Can’t wait to go again! (Click here for a 2012 Blue Streak post with more of the Ashes’ artworks.)