happy fishy new year

on december thirty first we have a standing date with ten of our closest friends. it is a motley crew consisting of a nurse, carpenters, designers, a pharmacist, a teacher, small business owners, some actors and a writer. two of this crew could be a chef and a sommelier if they ever decided to jump ship on their chosen careers, and these two whip up a twelve course meal that starts in the eve and ends some time in the new year, usually around four in the morning.

we don't see the ball drop, much less look at a clock and realize the next 365 has begun. phones and computers are switched off and put far, far away. champagne is popped to celebrate the start of the evening rather than the start of a new year. it becomes increasingly hard (and more dangerous) to get up from the table for any reason as the courses pile up-- and even harder to remember whose turn it is to toast. we do seem to remember to open the wine specifically chosen for each course, and to scream in delight at each new bite and sip. the children sleeping soundly upstairs don't mind, apparently raucous behavior is in their genes and they are content to dream of the age where they'll sit together at their own new year's feast.

before complete inebriation takes over, homemade presents of rum cake, beautifully written cards, breakfast sausage, irish cream and lounge-y pants are handed out (they were a success!). people do get up, with some effort, to take turns crashing into the sofa between courses (i was guilty of that party foul twice). by the time dessert rolled around, it was a communal undertaking of twelve happy hands grabbing for dark chocolate fried up in crispy cinnamon wontons. the planned shot of bourbon hot chocolate and glass of tawny port were intelligently saved for the morning. we followed through with this detour-- sipping port in lounge-y pants and giggling at the kids playing proved to be the perfect hangover remedy.

there was meat involved, but the photographer started to get sloppy around the fourth course... that time of the evening when you start to take pictures with your brain. and the pictures in my brain are the best. they'll keep me happy till 2011.

may your new year's memories keep you happy as well!


  1. This sounds like a fantastic tradition. Happy new year!

  2. Happy New Year, Oona!
    I have awarded you with an 'Honest Scrap Award', it's fun! ^.^


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!