These snowmen from Joppa Mountain Pottery in Rutledge are a part of our collection that comes out for the holidays.
You can live downtown and still choose a unique style that’s perfect just for you and your family. One of my favorite things about downtown living is that each space is so unique.
Some of us downtown dwellers participate in a progressive dinner at Christmas each year so we can see all the different styles of Christmas decorations our friends have selected. Come along!
On this particular evening, we visited five different residences — The Glencoe on State Street, Gallery Lofts above Mast General Store, Cherokee Lofts at the corner of Church Avenue and Market Street, Kendrick Place at the corner of Union Avenue and Locust Street, and The Emporium on the 100 block of Gay Street. It was great fun.
The evening began at 6 at The Glencoe at the home of Bruce and Monique Anderson. This is their collection of Santas.
Monique and her lovely traditional Christmas tree.
Santa ornament on the Andersons’ tree.
Loved these little birds that were placed over light bulbs.
Monique is famous for her quiche, which she makes from her mother’s recipe. I had intended to have only a bite, but . . .
Bruce serving the Quiche Lorraine. Yum.
Jeff Cupp and Tim Young enjoying the quiche.
Mickey Mallonee at the Andersons’ stop.
Time to move along! After giving Jeff and Tim a 15-minute head start, we headed to Tim’s condo above Mast General Store.
These festive angels greeted us at Tim’s.
We were charmed by an antique tree reminiscent of the 1800s. Jeff, Tim’s friend who helped him decorate, is an antique collector — and it shows. Here is Mickey admiring the tree. (My camera focused on Mickey instead of on the tree. Let’s say I was going for an artistic look! Ha.)
Loved this Egyptian ornament.
And this nutcracker.
Jeff has a collection of nutcrackers, which I was just crazy about. This nutcracker is a fisherman!
This one is a bread baker!
This fellow is a mushroom hunter.
This is Jeff’s favorite, although it isn’t really a nutcracker. It’s Pinocchio!
Tim called these drinks “Christmas sparkle!” They were both beautiful and delicious.
Here are the recipes. The one on the right is basically a Madras: 1.5 oz. of vodka, 3 oz. cranberry juice, 1 oz. orange juice. But with one very important addition — a candy cane! The one on the left is sweetened iced tea with 1.5 oz. of bourbon added — plus the candy cane. Here’s the secret: put the candy cane in the drink for at least 15 minutes before adding ice and serving. You wouldn’t believe the wonderful holiday flavor it adds.
Speaking of flavor, how about these slices of Benton’s bacon double dipped in chocolate? Nancy Kendrick was the caterer.
Pork tenderloin roulades were served with sweet potato cakes as the main course.
Alan Carmichael approved!
Tim has the biggest of all the lofts we visited.
He also has a tree on the roof in keeping with the city of Knoxville’s “Up on the Rooftops” promotion.
Here’s an interesting side note. Jeff likes to go to estate sales. Recently he found a very well-made overcoat and khaki jacket belonging to a Navy officer and he showed them to us during our visit.
Here’s Jeff in the coat.
And the jacket.
Expect to see Jeff around town in these great winter garments. What did he pay for them? $20 for the two! (I can see why he likes estate sales.)
Another cute holiday vignette at Tim and Jeff’s stop.
Alan and I had to leave 15 minutes ahead of everyone else because our condo was the next stop. Here’s the clock on Gay Street. The evening was basically running on time.
Passing the “Man in the Boat” on the way to Cherokee Lofts.
Our tree is kind of weird, but we like it! It’s a live tree and it’s designed to fit in a small space.
Floating candles. The nice folks at The Flower Pot on Gay Street sold me the greenery for $1.
Reindeer in the window
Ready for our guests to arrive! My Christmas pattern is called Holly-lujah by Mississippi artist Gail Pittman. Love using it.
Because we had so many stops, Alan and I decided that, rather than food, our stop would feature a “palate cleansing” course like sorbet or something. Our selection was a recipe we found on Pinterest for cranberry granita champagne cocktails. They turned out great, but do require a little advance planning. Click here for a link. (A liter is approximately equal to a quart. And caster sugar is just superfine sugar. But, since you are melting it anyway, regular sugar is OK.)
Aren’t they pretty?
Monique and Jeff
Tim relaxing halfway through our evening.
Alan getting tickled about something.
Mickey with Gay and Bill Lyons.
Next stop was Gay and Bill’s condo at Kendrick Place. Gay says her Christmas decorating is “minimalist,” but she did put out this cute tree.
Her centerpiece certainly was creative!
Gay opted for a salad course. Just like in Europe, we had salad after the main course.
Red bibb lettuce from Mountain Meadows Farm, sliced celery, chopped apples, diced watermelon radishes (also from Mountain Meadows), toasted walnuts, sliced red onions, dried cranberries, and, on top, grated turnips from Mountain Meadows. Served with Girard’s champagne dressing.
In case you were wondering, this is a watermelon radish.
Here’s its inside. Can you see why it’s called that?
We soon headed out to our last stop — Mickey’s place at The Emporium. We had a little walk ahead of us but, believe me, we needed it!
Chuckled at this sign outside The Casual Pint on Union Avenue.
Loved the painted windows of scenes from “A Christmas Story” at Trio on Market Square!
Another Trio window.
Thought the tree on the Bill Lyons Pavilion was lovely.
Hahaha! Made it!
Wow! What a tree Mickey has!
This ornament is so Mickey!
The Tennessee state capitol! Mickey used to work for Gov. Bill Haslam when he was mayor of Knoxville.
The Governor’s Residence in Nashville.
Mickey is right up there with Tim and Jeff when it comes to decorating for Christmas. Here’s Santa in the bathroom.
Mickey had Magpies make this Italian creme cake with lemon filling using her mother’s recipe. What a good idea!
Here’s what the inside looks like.
Her Spode Christmas china is fun.
We had champagne punch.
And Christmas cookies, as well.
Five stops in five hours! What a fun night. Move downtown and join us!
Love Jeff’s collection of nutcrackers! My mom collects them, too. She certainly doesn’t have a mushroom hunter or a bread baker, I’m sad to say. I’ll have to keep an eye out for those.
Those were so much fun to see, Lauren! I don’t know why I like nutcrackers so much. Maybe it’s because my grandmother and I went to see “The Nutcracker” here in Knoxville and they remind me of her.
Those beautifully decorated condos do put ours to shame. I’d better step up if I want to hang out with you guys. Good food & drink, good friends, & a good time. A lovely way to get in the holiday mood. I love our progressives!
The condos are all so beautiful! They make me want to move downtown! And the quiche looks absolutely incredible!
Diana, I can tell you that Monique’s quiche is the best ever. I could just eat the crust. It is so good!
Diana: We would love for you all to move downtown! It’s so much fun and you would be a great addition!
As a former resident of Knoxville (who did not live downtown), it was a pleasure to stumble upon Blue Streak a few months ago and learn how vibrant downtown has become. Thanks for keeping us former Knoxvillians informed in such an entertaining way about all the happenings. Happy New Year!
Louis: Great hearing from you! Knoxville has changed a lot. Hope you can come back soon and see it first hand.
Loved seeing the Christmas ornaments. I have a variety myself and almost all have a story as the ones you photographed.
Thanks, Georgiana. Hope your Christmas was great. Look forward to seeing you around downtown in 2014!
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