Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Happy New Year in Six Courses

This year we were joined by three other couples to ring in the new year with cream, duck and more...Our six courses began around 8:30 and went till 11:30. Perfect timing for a little pre-countdown fireworks, champagne, and in the boy's case, setting all the fireworks off at once on a table in the backyard.

7:00p Hors d'oeuvres

More cheeses than I can count including an inspiring applewood smoked cheddar, the gooiest goat I have ever had drowned in truffle honey and olives cooked in duck fat, and a triple cream brie that tasted like butta. A Target tapenade and an assortment of lemon and almond stuffed olives rounded out the plate and sadly four of us managed to eat almost all of this prior to the other guests arriving, luckily they had cheese in reserve, including a British favorite that I can not remember the name of, but was good.

8:30 Le Grand Repast

Amuse Bouche - Smoked salmon steak, creme fraiche with meyer lemon peel and chives

First Course - Fried veal stuffed olives

Second Course - Garlic fennel soup with homemade bread

Third course - Salmon mousse (in an traditional mold!)

Fourth course - Spinach salad with pear and gorgonzola

Main course - Cassoulet: French white bean, duck and sausage stew with mashed potatoes

Dessert - Tarte Tatin with homemade cinnamon ice cream and carmelized bacon

I can't really comment individually because it was all perfect. Everyone's courses were lovingly prepared and shared.

I am truly blessed to have such gifted cooks for friends!The portions were wonderful, I didn't even get full, and no one had a hangover! However the dessert was taken by folks at random times...some of us, not till breakfast the next day!

Fireworks, champagne

Everyone removed their holiday finery and jumped into pajamas. For the next two hours or so, we worked on the champagne and worked off the fat we just consumed by playing "Dance Dance Revolution" a PS2 game that involves dancing on little pads to techno music and following dance steps...I loved it, but whew it was hard!

Breakfast is pumpkin roll, cherry orange scones, more bacon!, fruit, coffee, tea, a bizarre mimosa concocted from Cold Duck and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice and Sausage pinwheels.

Everyone goes around the table remarking on what they were grateful for in 2007, and we all wish each other a wonderful 2008. It truly was a great way to start the year. It ended with yet another bottle of wine being opened and Belle Bleue whipping out about 20 cookbooks for us to rummage through before they went off to Goodwill to make room for her new books. After a dinner like ours, I stuck to the "light" cooking books.

After napping all day with alternatively the boy and the dogs on the couch and then finally getting up, cleaning all the party stuff up, the 400 bottles for recycling and the various guestrooms, we opened one more bottle of red and tucked into some reheated cassoulet. I can only hope 2008 will be this nice (and delicious!) everyday after.

1 comment:

Terry said...

That sounds like a wonderful evening.....

My mom used to make something she called Le Grand Repast that she picked up whilst we were in Dreux, France during the 1950's. As I recall, it was potatoes, small sausages, ham hock and sour kraut with some carroway seeds. I've been looking for the recipe unsuccessfuly, and my sorry attempts at ad hoc creation have been unsuccessful. Can you help?