Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Whew!, or, Welcome 2012!

After a full 2-day recovery, I'm back on my feet and fully rebounded from the festivities of New Year's Eve! It was the kind of night when all of the usual happened: old friends mingling with new, tons of great food, booze and music, porch cigar smoking; and a few new traditions were born--melty raclette, a midnight Hall and Oates dance party, and this most delightful little trick.

After putting on a fancy parade of food last year (including my personal favorite--braised goat short rib tortellini in curry cream w/ mint harrissa), we returned to the simplicity of the year before that (Hoppin' John and fried Chicken) by rolling out spinach, carrot and egg pasta for a bunch of hearty lasagna to be accompanied by piles upon piles of meatballs made of beef, pork and a few salamis, braised in tomato sauce and ham broth. To offer some sense of lightness (because the cheeses, linguica, ham, pepperoni, homemade ricotta and unbelievably tasty raclette Old Crazy Hair brought surely weren't doing it), we cut up some chicory, red leaf lettuce, red dandelion greens and parsley and tossed them with pomegranate seeds, shaved fennel and blood orange segments, all doused in a sharp vinaigrette made from said blood oranges. We ate...and ate...and drank plenty. Several bottles of champagne (including a magnum for the big moment itself), wine and beer later, we found ourselves looking at 4:30am, munching lazily on lavendar sugar cookies, a bevy of delicious nuts and brittle, the occasional hunk of ham or meatball, nursing bravely poured glasses of wine or whiskey or whatever we fancied as the night came to an end. The next day would find most of us loafing around our respective little Hobbit holes, watching terrible movies and eating egg casseroles and bagel bombs so wisely made on the other side of the big night, as the year's first snow decided to flutter around us.

Now, to the year ahead! Here's to great food and drink for everyone, but more importantly, here's to the friendships that are bonded around said food and drink--whether it be gilded goat tortellini, or the simple, humble meatball. Happy 2012!

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