Monday, December 2, 2013

And so it begins....

Phew....what a weekend! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving...relatively small, starting with six of our family for dinner, then augmented by four friends joining us for desserts and drinks. The turkey tasted great but had the challenge for the second year in a row, that I didn't cook it long enough and had to return it to the oven. That's the thing that drives me nuts about roasting's a real challenge in timing the meal. Next year, I have to listen to the butcher rather than the recipe.

We did have great success in creating a new drink...dubbed the "Blizen" by my sister. It is 1 shot of rosemary simple syrup (see earlier simple syrup blog), juice from half a lemon, a teaspoon of grenadine,  and 3 shots of gin. Put it all into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice and shake till you can't feel you fingers anymore (because of the cold) and then pour into a martini glass rinsed with bourbon...and Voila! You have (and become) a Blizen! Oh and don't forget the sprig of rosemary to garnish!

We made this our signature drink at the neighborhood gathering on Saturday night. What a great night that is so wonderful to have this second family of friends, with shared memories that stretch back 20 years! The group has gotten so large, 22 in total and now they are nearly all adults with only 3 left in high school. (10 adults and 12 kids). We start off with all the chaos and chatter and catching up over hor d'oeuvres and then progress to sit down dinners with the adults in one room and kids in the other, though as they graduate from college, the line blurs, but the dining room table constrains us. I think once we start adding in significant others and eventually the kids' kids, we will have to rent a hall to handle us all!

Jack & Bobby 2013!
Jack & Bobby 2000
Over dinner we slip into re-living neighborhood memories: the first time we met ...Maddie coming down the street in her Fred-Flintsone car, red hair shining or the naughty night the adults crashed another neighbor's hot tub. Then there is the infamous Beanie Baby Caper, when the boys snuck into Emily's house, crept to the basement and stole her favorite beanie babies, making sure to give a shout as they exited, so they couldn't be accused of true robbery (only a 6 year old boy could come up with that logic!).

Finally we end the night with Charades, with much consideration given to the can't have spouses or siblings on the same team and how to divide up the natural actors and psychic guessers...there's a lot of strategy involved in just team creation. The game itself is a riot...very raucous and sometimes a bit heated on the rules but always a good time. We missed Billy this year but did skype him in from China at the very end.

So now the holiday season is officially kicked off...starting it with a marathon weekend of family, friends and food. What could be a better expression of the spirit of the holidays?

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