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.