In year's past I have thrown dinner parties on New Year's Eve. Last year there were just 6 of us (plus the two and four legged critters wandering in and out) and the year before there were 15, which was maybe a few too many people to invite to a small house for a sit-down dinner...
This year I was feeling a little burned out after the Roast Beef fest that was Christmas dinner so I decided to be lazy. No dinner party. No plans until I received a phone call on New Year's Eve. No psycho trip to the store to stock up on appropriately festive foods.
And you know what? Being lazy turned out pretty great. Ami and John and Angela came by at about 9 pm. They brought champagne and a bag full of sweet goodies, many of which came from John's German relatives.
And Ami taught us a Russian new year's ritual (courtesy of her friend Val) that I really like.
You take a little piece of paper, write down one wish (personal, global, whatever). Then you burn the paper, take a pinch of the ashes from your wish and sprinkle them on your champagne before drinking it. Keep your wish secret.
As Angela mentioned, it's kinda like drinking your cigarette with your champagne which sounds gross, but actually wasn't bad. And I like the tradition--burning stuff is fun (especially with the bonfire couple) and I like focusing attention on one wish/problem/project/desire. If I get started on New Year's resolutions, the list gets really long really fast and it all ends up a useless blur.
On New Year's day we (again) relied on the hospitality and advance planning of other people. Meg had us over for a Southern brunch with the traditional Hoppin' John accompanied by ham, greens, cheese grits and Meg's fabulous fresh hot little rolls. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera because it was a very photogenic spread of food and tasted divine too. I will try to pester Meg until she reveals her cheese grits and hot rolls recipes and then share them here.
Since I got off scott free in the effort department this New Years eve and day, I hereby vow to throw a "celebration of spring" dinner party this year. God knows with the way the winter is shaping up (a gray, gray, heavy mass) I'll need to celebrate when spring comes.