New Year's Eve

As in any household, ours was filled with both happiness and sorrow this past year. No matter how the year past unfolded, we very much enjoy closing it out with any family that we can. Eating good food, drinking fine drink and playing Simpsons Clue.
Port Discovery, the local children’s museum, puts on a wonderful New Year’s eve celebration every year. Since most kids won’t be awake at midnight, Port Discovery does their countdown to the New Year at 12 noon. There’s lots of craft, lots of confetti, and lots of yelling. It’s perfect for kids – so much so that our daughter remembers the whole thing from last year when she was but four years old.

We get there early to explore the museum. Around 11, we go to “Old McDonald’s” for a quick snack, then we re-enter to partake of some of the crafts. Both kids had a grand time, which is different from last year, when our son was uninterested. A little before noon, the kids even got to meet Bob the Vid Tech (from a local PBS station), who was emceeing the affair.

After running errands, we start cooking. The kids both eagerly participated in the prep work for this meal, mostly preferring to help with the desserts. Probably the most amazing part of the day was our daughter cleaning the living room while everything was baking.

For our sibling Christmas gift exchange this year, Sarah was Robin’s secret Santa and Eric got Chris. Since they were coming to tonight’s celebration, we thought it fitting that we make use of some of their gifts. We use the Joy of Cooking (from Sarah) as the inspiration for the shrimp bisque. We use the ladle (also from Sarah) to help prepare it. We meant to make coffee afterwards with Eric’s gift, but one too many other drinks prevented Chris from remembering.

Dinner was wonderful – extremely filling. After putting the kids down (Olivia in the playpen), we indulge in desserts (we gave the kids some before bedtime).

The new addition to our traditional New Year’s meal is a tradition borrowed from Robin’s childhood – strufoli. We’ve been meaning to do this for a while and are overjoyed to have it this year. We all liked them and Sarah even tried one!

We would like to note that, despite an emailer’s complaint regarding the amount total for the peanut butter kiss cookie recipe, it does make exactly 57 cookies. We were being a little cute with that number when we originally made it and a reader took us a little too literally. But we end up with 57 again this year. We eat about 17 tonight and hope to find an unsuspecting neighbor to take a significant number off our hands tomorrow.

After all this, we played Simpsons Clue. There was some talk of a card game, but we couldn’t settle, so Clue it was! Chris and Eric, despite being the only ones drinking this evening, forwent the traditional notepad and yet still managed to win three out of four.

We sort of recognized the ball dropping, but that wasn’t the most important part of the night. Food and family and celebration was. May anyone who happens to read this cookbook experience the same.

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