Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year

I was very grateful to feel almost back to normal by New Year's Eve. And even more grateful when Shaun and Hillary took the boys on another flashlight hike, leaving me time to restore order to the house.

Shaun and I bought each other drapes for Christmas. We love our big windows during the day, but at night it was not very cheerful to gaze out into the black abyss that surrounded us. You can see one set of the drapes in this picture. Shaun spent hours installing the rods and all the little hooks and making sure everything hung just so. His boss seemed alarmed at the company Christmas gathering to hear that Shaun was not planning to buy me a more personal gift in addition to the drapes, but he was wrong. I couldn't be happier. It was just what I wanted.

Here's the living room all festive for the holidays. The giant drapes for this window didn't go up until later.

New Year's Eve was my chance to try this recipe for Chilled Fennel-Grapefruit Veloute with Lemon Olive Oil. I figured no one would be expecting dinner and they might be open to a little bit of something adventurous. Plus it sounded like it would be good with the crab salad Hillary was making. Hillary and I felt right proud of ourselves for having shelled four Dungeness crabs (her treat) the night before. We had a giant delectable pile (1.7 lbs, if you must know) of crab meat at the end.

Whenever I prepare food for friends, I always forget at least one ingredient. Always. So when Hillary forgot to add the olive oil on top of the crab salad, I felt a little better. A little better, that is, until I woke up the next morning and realized I had completely forgotten to even serve my cold soup. The entire batch-and-a-half was sitting untouched in the refrigerator. Honestly, it wasn't that much of a loss because it didn't taste that great, but still. Forgetting an entire dish really takes the cake.

A few days later I dug through the crisper drawer and discovered the radishes and green onions that had also been intended for the crab salad, but it was small consolation.

Even with the absentmindedness there were no complaints about the food, and we had a jolly good time. We seem to have meandered our way into a tradition of having the Morgan family over for New Year's Eve, which is always fun. Their children are just as game for staying up until midnight as ours. And Shaun's winning streak of good vacation ideas did not end; he brought out sparklers that he'd saved from the 4th of July for the kids to wave on the deck as we watched the fireworks at midnight.

I don't presume to predict what the new year will hold, or even have the courage to resolve anything new for it.

Right now I am just thankful for the year that was, and the years that have been, and for the people I have been blessed to share them with.

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