mercredi 4 janvier 2006

Why do I even own cookbooks when I get all my recipes off the internet?

Now that my apartment is relatively tidy again (except for those damn boxes in the corner - I really need to figure out what to do with them. If only the basement weren't so far away), I thought that perhaps I'd share pictures from New Year's eve. Usually, I go down to a friend's beachhouse, but luckily that didn't transpire this year as it rained. Even last year, when it rained so much I thought that that someone somewhere was staging a reenactment of the 40 days and 40 nights of flooding that Noah and his ark experienced, it still cleared up for New Year's.

But not this year. This year it rained. Boo.

Frying blini in one of my three newly-acquired cast iron pans. Still working on seasoning them.

But that was okay, because I had plans, you see! Plans that involved me not having to leave my apartment (a plus!) and plans that involved me cooking (and cooking hungover for part of the time, which isn't too much fun, let me tell you). The best plans are those where I don't have to leave my apartment. I am terribly lazy sometimes.

As pre-dinner nibbles, I made gravlax and blini. I was going to make pickled herring, as it's supposedly a New Year's tradition in Scandinavia and Poland, but then I wasn't sure if people would actually eat it. And what is the point of making food that others won't eat? So, I figured that gravlax was a close second. Plus, I made lots, and it's been really nice having it to add to my scrambled eggs in the morning. I might have to have it around all the time now - way cheaper than lox, and there's the satisfaction of knowing that you've made it yourself. I'm all about living from the land and that kind of stuff.

For dinner, there were those Southern classics: Hoppin' John, collard greens with red onions and bacon, and skillet cornbread , all supposed to represent good luck in various ways: both the black eyed peas (in the first dish) and the collard greens are supposed to bring wealth, and I guess you need the cornbread to soak up every last drop of said wealth? I'm actually not sure how the latter ties in, I just wanted to use my another of my new cast iron pans for something. It was the southern style cornbread which was not sweet and a little drier than the sugary sweet cornbread to which I'm used. Another friend brought chicken braised in this amazing spice mixture - I'm not sure what's actually in it, because I was a little tipsy when she told me. That's what happens when you have one too many glasses of sangria. No, I will never learn. However, you will be proud to hear that I was decently pleasant to a guy in a bar the other night (only took 3 martinis, a half-bottle of wine, and a digestif! But sadly, sometimes even that much alcohol isn't enough to make me nice and amenable), and that was before the new year kicked in. However, Jen had an argument with him over something related to music (I wasn't really listening at that point because I know diddly squat about music). Maybe we are switching spots and I am becoming the nice one who will talk to people and she will be the one who has debates with them! Haha, no, I won't remain nice for long.

Anyhoo, dessert was devil's food cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, because chocolate is definitely lucky in some fashion, isn't it? Or maybe it just tastes good.

There was wine and champagne friends had brought from a recent wine-tasting trip in Napa, along with the obligatory sangria always found at one of my larger get-togethers.

And while I stupidly forgot to bring out the grapes (12 as the clock strikes midnight, a Spanish tradition to bring luck in the upcoming year - but it's the thought that counts, right?) Jen brought horns and crackers and poppers, which were great fun to play with once the New Year arrived.

No, I'm not sure why I suddenly decided to take pictures without the flash.

Plus, the crackers had paper crowns, silly little toys, and stupid jokes. Nothing says STYLE like a purple paper crown. Oh yeah.

All in all, this was one of the better New Year's eves that I've have in a long while. And did I mention that we met cute guys on the fire escape? Who knew that it was such a happening spot? This year definitely beats the year where a friend and I got locked in a parking garage for half an hour (long story there) or the one where we ended up at a bar on Sunset at some random Greek (as in the nationality, not as in the fraternity/sorority system) party. Greeks get drunk. Very drunk. I might fit in in that country.

But anyway, who says that you have to leave your apartment on NYE to have a good time? Not I, I say!