Friday, January 04, 2008

A Party, by the Book (Almost)

New Year’s was a party. A paaaarty. I will not go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that my guests consumed almost all of the hard liquor in my house, and that's saying something. Yeeaaah. I think all I have left is some Triple Sec. I am glad that things didn’t reach the Triple Sec level of desperation. As it was, the end of the evening was not pretty. No offense to pediatricians, but their dispassionate treatment of various body fluids is borderline inhuman. I am not now, nor will I ever be a pediatrician. (My unbudging distaste for children helps nothing in this regard). Make of that what you will.

Besides the astronomical alcohol consumption, the New Year's party was set apart by the fact that I prepared pretty much every item from a recipe, most from cookbooks. This is rare for me. I have a house full of cookbooks but can rarely be bothered to use them. Something about forethought and planning that gets in my way. I made a concerted effort to make things out of books this time around and I was not disappointed.

The menu for that fateful (and booze-full) evening:

Crudites with hummus (perfunctory raw veg. Completely perfunctory)
Almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon (these were crack cocaine, I kid you not; from 1080 recipes)
Melon wrapped in prosciutto
Walnut halves with gorgonzola dolce and red grapes (Deen Brothers cookbook)

Baked brie with dried cherries and almonds (recipe posted here)
Samosas with cilantro chutney (specialty Chez Archna)
Mushroom caps stuffed with bread crumbs and prosciutto (1080 recipes)
Mixed mushroom and goat cheese tartlettes (recipe from my Mom. Need to ask where she found it).

Lemon tart (I have made it before and it was as gorgeous on New Year's as it was the first time, from Silver Spoon)
Fudge brownies dipped in chocolate and topped with chili powder, red salt, or walnuts (for the wimps) (brownie recipe adapted from Gale Gand’s Chocolate and Vanilla. The freaky toppings were my special flourish).

Archna’s homemade samosas stole the show. Starting from scratch, she made the dough, the filling, folded the samosas (with help), fried them, and made a cilantro chuntey that could make a toilet seat cover taste like haute cuisine. I may have to beg her to tell me the recipe beyond: "Garam masala, to taste." Whose taste? Taste what? Measure, woman! Measure!

The alcohol gluttony was out of hand, the food consumption was a close second. For me, anyway. You know, they say (and by they I mean my grandmother) the way you spend New Year’s eve is the way you will spend the rest of the year. By that measure, I will spend the next months eating great food, drinking with my friends, and dancing on chairs to Salt ‘n Pepa’s Shoop. Old school, baby.


DD said...

Word. The party was awesome. Thank you for putting it together! A toast to the Hostess with the Mostest! Love you!

Anna said...

Archna - It would not have been a party without you. Thank YOU! Love.

JC said...

Sounds like a wicked awesome party, yo. Wish I coulda been there! You crazy chair dancer you!

aimee said...

Wow, that's a frickin' awesome menu! Sounds fantastic. I only hope the guests appreciated the food in a sober(ish) state rather than through drunken munchies! A party ain't a party without chair dancing - I always say that. ALWAYS. Wicked. Glad you had a good one :)

One Food Guy said...

My invitation must have got lost in the mail. Nicely done on the food spread. Happy New Year!

Jonathan said...

Start to finish a perfect new year. Couldn't have asked for a better party. Homemade food, old-school hip-hop, and strong drinks.

Anna said...

JC - It wasn't me, I swear! It's Archna. She is the chair dancer. She doesn't even need to be drinking for the chair dancing to bust out. Craziness.

Aimee - Wicked, eh? Are you from Boston, originally? All that Britishness is just for show, I bet. I am pretty sure they appreciated the food. The samosas were seriously attention-grabbing. They sure appreciated the vodka, there ain't no doubt about that!

One Food Guy - Next New Year, you're on. Hope you had a wonderful celebration of your own!

Jonathan - You always say nice things. I am not about to stop you :) Thank you. So happy you could be there. Would not have been a party without your masterful music mix.

leena! said...

Alright lady, you have just lit a fire under my ass to post quickly about my NYE party. I swear, you drink a little too much eggnog and the whole month of December just flies by!

It sounds like it was an awesome party, but honestly, the Salt n Pepa sold it for me. It was almost like you snuck into my party down under and saw me tearing up the karaoke machine.

Chocolate chip honey dip let me get a scoop, baby take a ride in my Coup, you make me wanna...

amanda said...

dude! i knew we had a lot more in common than just food. i have a huge undying distaste for children, consume wrong amounts of alcohol an a weekly basis, and frequently ask tyler if he want's to shoop! :-) (if your wondering, t always denies me and tells me he doesn't wanna shoop. the a-hole)

Anna said...

I am so happy that other people see the shear brilliance of Shoop. There is nothing like it. I think it's one of the first songs that I learned all the words to, if you can consider "Shoop-pe-doop" a word, that is. Shoop lovers, unite!

Leena - You had a karaoke machine?? That's so awesome.

Amanda - Wrong amounts of alcohol? Oh no, I think the amounts are just right. Why doesn't Tyler want to Shoop?? Is it out of principle? Bummer.