Thursday, December 31, 2015

Continental Drift

I got over New Year's Eve a long time ago.  There were some memorable ones along the way, but after a bit, they just got into expectations blown way out of proportion.  January is a tough time for many reasons, but tonight it'll get tougher because some folks will end relationships or come to the conclusion that they might think about that.  It just does that to people.
I recall a few NYE's that stand out because of where I was.  A young man in South Texas, a middle aged man on the gulf coast in Louisiana, and one particular night in Berkeley, California.
My friends and I  (at the time) came up with an idea for a New Year's Eve dinner where each guest would bring one part of an elegant feast that would take hours to consume.  The idea was to have each guest bring one dish that was particularly meaning to them and then "present" their dish  with an explanation of what went into it as well as the background detailing how they came to appreciate the item.  One of my friends explained that his aunt made Minestrone soup every day of her life.  She lived on a farm in Washington state and picked fresh vegetables all the time.  He had the recipe and shared this wonderful soup with us early on in the dinner.

I can't remember what I brought, but I think it was a main dish.  The party was at my house and my significant other at the time cooked a stew that traced to her native Kentucky home.  I should mention that it was a particularly cold New Year's Eve that year, so soup and stew were most appropriate.  Over the course of the evening, we ate many wonderful dishes.  Sometimes just a taste, sometimes a bit more.  Our original idea was that if we started at about 8:00 pm we could entertain ourselves with food until the midnight hour.

That was the plan until one of my friends and I realized that nobody brought a dessert of any kind.  Not wanting to  appear unorganized, we decided to make one in the kitchen right on the spot.  Taking some bananas dates and a few Kiwi fruit we found on the kitchen counter, we sliced and diced and ultimately plated what we called a "Turkish Continental."  Presenting this tempting delight, we improvised a bullshit story on the spot about how those ingredients were a sacred combination of healthy and symbolic ingredients that brought good fortune in the new year.  Nobody blinked.

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