How to Welcome in the New Year

We all have our own ideas about how it is best to usher in the new year and I think that I have finally decided what the best way for me to do so is. With a small group of friends, having dinner, (preferably a short distance from home), playing a few games, having a few (too many) drinks and watching the fireworks on the Thames from the comfort of the front room.

I am not usually one for New Year’s Eve, I find the pressure of having to have fun, and having to tell everyone what an amazing time you are having, all too much and I invariably spend a miserable evening wondering whether I can go to bed yet. This year however, was different. In fact, it was absolutely cracking. Dinner at a friend’s house just across the river with a handful of people that I knew already, and a handful that I did not. Throw in an element of patriotic Olympic’s inspired fancy dress, something that did initially make me think that I no longer wanted to attend, and voila, New Year’s Eve heaven.

Everyone contributed to the meal meaning that no one person had sole responsibility for the job which created an incredibly relaxed atmosphere and a rather unusual menu. The nibbles on arrival consisted of the usual suspects, homous, carrots, kettle chips, olives and the rather more unusual Swiss garlic sausage; the starter was a delicious soup with the consistency of baby puree, followed by a cheese fondue. In truth I could have eaten all of the fondue and only managed to stop myself because I knew that there was more to come. The main course was an eclectic but enjoyable mix of Moroccan meatballs, (which were delicious by the way), pitta bread, a mozzarella, tomato and spinach salad, new potatoes and carrots and, of course, cocktail sausages.

The first part of this epic feast took us all the way to 23:50 where upon realising the time, we gathered around the TV to muse on how Jake Humphries has been so successful and to await what were truly spectacular fireworks. Fuelled by Champagne and Jager Bombs, the games commenced and somewhere in the middle of all the hilarity, my dessert was finally brought to the table. An experimental piece that I like to call Tiramsulade with cherry compote. It’s not quite perfected, I need to work more coffee into the sponge so that it is more mocha than simply chocolate, but I thought it was quite a good effort and it was definitely worth the time dedicated to pitting the cherries for the compote.

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