Good thing for me that I follow the Jewish calendar and the New Year starts on Rosh Hashanah, which happened back in September. Although there were some bumps in the road then, too, I got to spend a wonderful holiday in Arizona with my son, welcoming the new year. I have a zillion photos that I’ve been meaning to share with you about that, sometime. 🙂 But even if Rosh Hashanah is “my” new year, I love to party with the rest of the world when the calendar switches from December 31 to January 1. Of course by now you should know that I just love to party. 🙂
The first decision is always HOW to party – throw a party, go to a party, quiet party, loud party. You might remember that last year was my party-to-end-all-parties – the unveiling of The New Kitchen!! That party took at least 4 blog posts to describe. *grin* This year I decided that I was a bit worn out and wanted a quieter celebration. We decided to go back to our traditional NYE party – a group of friends over for dinner. We have a group of friends that I call “the gang of 8” – us and 3 other couples. Sometimes it’s the gang of 9 when my son joins us, sometimes it’s the gang of 10 when my sister and her husband join us, but for many, many years I have used the shorthand of ‘gang of 8’ to describe us (as in over 20 years, I believe, maybe getting close to 25 years). Anyway, we opted for dinner for the gang of 10.
Originally I thought that we’d make the 18 pound turkey we have in the downstairs freezer. Of the possible 10 eaters, 2 are vegetarians. That’s a lot of turkey for 8 people when you figure there will be side dishes as well. Then I was reading Jinjer’s blog and saw she was making Cornish Game Hens. Wow!! I haven’t thought about those in YEARS! There was a time when they were the ‘in’ food and EVEN MY MOTHER cooked them (my mother never cooked if at all possible). *smile* I thought that individual game hens was MUCH better than 18 pounds of turkey. My husband found frozen game hens at the local grocery store and a decision was made.
I have to tell you that planning dinner for the gang of 8 is a challenge. There was a time when we were all much younger when we had fewer food issues. Now – well now I almost think the challenge of preparing a menu and dishes is almost as much fun as getting to spend time with my friends. *grin* But that is definitely another post. Anyway, I had a great menu planned. Then I woke up on the morning of December 21 with congestion and a fever. Okay, I can deal with this: liquids, more liquids and rest. Except I kept getting worse. I was working that week (or at least nominally working) and was hard pressed to concentrate on the monitor. Definitely a fever. Definitely a hacking cough. Definitely SICK. All week. I was sleeping in a chair for 3 days until I threw my back out. So even though I felt better Thursday, I couldn’t move from the pain. We had a major party to attend on Saturday evening. I spent Thursday and Friday horizontal on ice packs. Saturday came. Yay for decongestants, cough drops, Advil and nose spray. We made it to the party and back again. I even managed Sunday morning to do all the grocery shopping for NYE dinner. And of course I picked up a treat for the kitties (obligatory photos included). Made it to my sister’s and brother-in-law’s for a phenomenal Sunday dinner of standing rib roast and the most amazing potatoes ever and heavenly salt stick rolls.
Woke up Monday morning realizing that I was NOT healthy and NOT feeling like there was anyway I could throw a party the next night, no matter how relaxed. When I saw my husband taking the hens out to defrost I told him to put them back. Monday night I sent out an email and rescheduled our dinner to Saturday, January 4. I was in bed (in the chair again) on NYE by 10 pm, with decongestants, nose spray, cough drops, tissues, advil. The ball dropped at Times Square without my help. 🙂 Last night, January 1, my husband said “I’m going to take a dip (in our hot tub) because I’m feeling a little congested.” Oh no!!!!!!! It was inevitable but still horrible – now he is sick. I know several people who have gotten this chest congestion and coughing and misery. It seems to last FOREVER. With any luck my husband will shake it off faster than I did, okay, I still haven’t. In my head I figure Saturday night dinner is not happening.
This is not the best way to start a new year. On the other hand, maybe if we get all the germs out of the way NOW, the rest of the year will be healthy. One can only hope!