If I leave my house on New Year’s Eve, bad things happen. Very bad things. Emergency room–related things.
Take our millennium festivities seven years ago. We went to a party in Somerville, and I woke up the next morning with six stitches and a broken tooth (but you should have seen the other guy). Actually, what really happened is that I tried to dive through a hardwood floor with my face (my hands were otherwise occupied with beverages). Next time, I’ll try the stairs.
In college, I once took a New Year’s firecracker to the head while tooling around Florence. I couldn’t get a brush through my hair for three days, which was about how long it took to get the hearing back in my left ear. Note to self: when in Italy for New Year’s Eve, stay indoors.
Last year, I spent New Year’s Day rehydrating in the ER after spending the entire night vomiting. In case you’ve ever wondered whether it was possible to breastfeed a baby while vomiting, it actually can be done, though nobody really has very much fun. Another tip: although old-fashioned candy bars sound like a neat idea for stocking stuffers, that’s only true when they themselves have been manufactured within the past decade. Not if there was any chance they were just salvaged from a vintage basement storeroom somewhere in the Midwest.
Anyway, it should come as no surprise that we decided to lay low this year with a casual dinner party with close friends. Juliet provided the hummus and Israeli yogurt dip. Shona shook up the cocktails (pomegranate and pear/cardamom). I cooked up the short ribs, rice pilaf, and baklava. And Ed and Chris teamed up with Rich once again to bring us their unique brand of humor.
Conversation ran the gamut from madcap holiday adventures with our crazy families, to idiot savants and how to nail down their particular talents (i.e., what might happen if instead of a piano nearby, there was only a loom). Much fun was had, or as much fun as six adults might hope to have with five children sleeping upstairs and one in the womb (not mine, thank God).
Here are some scenes from our New Year’s Eve kitchen:
Beef short ribs braised with balsamic vinegar and tamarind (courtesy of Ana Sortun’s cookbook, Spice).
Oleana’s Paopao cocktail (pear nectar, cardamom, and Prosecco).
Here’s to a brand new, shiny year!