Sunday, January 07, 2007

Well, it's all over now but the crying...

Last night we hosted our annual Three Kings dinner party, which marks the official end of Christmas. It's always an extravaganza of epic proportions. Last year, we had a good bit of trouble with the cooking, and this year we were so organized, we had an hour for naps and showers before really kicking off the cooking.

Judy and Joe arrived on the train Friday night and we did the major shopping. By which I mean that we bought the stuff that cost approximately $50 more in total than the Saturday morning shopping trip, which still didn't cover the additional $50 we spent on ice, serving ware, and incidentals.

When we got home around 9pm, the grand unveiling took place...

I was not able to post this sooner, because it was a surprise for Judy, but when my uncle came to visit from San Diego last week, he bought Michael and I a new television set. A 42" plasma HDTV to be exact. So she went downstairs and saw it, and all was well...

We got cookin'. Friday night is always reserved for 2 things: baking and chopping onions. We like to get both out of the way so that we can do the hard core cooking the next day.

The lemon bundt cakes refused to cooperate this year, they kept coming out of the pan all broken up. So I told Judy the mini-bundts were out this year, we'd have to make cheesecakes in the morning. She agreed, sadly, we spent an hour chopping onions, concluded (correctly as it turned out) that we didn't have enough, and moved on to preparing the presents for everyone. This year, we bought sparkling cider and wine and printed out our own labels and affixed them to the bottles. We got a couple of boxes of wine goblets and gave every couple a bottle of wine and two glasses. All the kids who were coming would get the cider. After that was over, we went to bed. (at 1:30 am)

The next morning I got up at 7 and went back to the store to finish up the shopping as best I could. When I got home, Judy was up and running, so we made the cheesecakes, she finished up chopping another 5 lbs. of onions, and I gave the bundts another go--successfully this time!

The rest of the day was spent arguing with each other--yep, everyone was fightin'--and cooking. The weather was so crazy, we briefly considered turning it into a picnic--probably the only time we'd get away with doing it. But unfortunately, the ground is so soggy, we weren't able to pull it off. It was the first time I've prepared for this with the windows open, and wearing shorts.

Our menu this year was:

Appetizers:
Chips, bread, vegetables, and crackers with an assortment of dips (dill, french onion, and holiday blend)
Shrimp
Homemade egg nog

Dinner:
Beef stroganoff
Haluski (egg noodles sauteed with onions and butter)
Pierogi
Kielbasa
Chicken Paprikash and dumplings
Polish mushrooms
green beans
salad

Dessert:
Lemon cakes
Apple cakes (brought by Nancy)
Cheese cake

Everyone arrived quite promptly, and we had a huge crowd again this year--twenty one, including 5 kids. Poor TomTom took the brunt of it as young Zach fell completely in love with TomTom and kept shoving him in a cardboard box and toting him around. I looked into the box at one point and TomTom was glaring up at me with a "You're going to pay for this" look of utter disdain. But he survived.

Everyone left around midnight, we went to bed around 1am, and I had to get up at 6:45 because the Best Buy guys were supposed to arrive at 7am to finish hooking up the TV and DVD player correctly. Unfortunately, they didnt' get the 7am memo and didn't get here until 8:10, but whatever. Everything is working correctly now.

It was a great party, I really enjoyed myself, and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. Today all the Christmas stuff comes down and I'm treating myself to a pedicure.

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Lauren said...

Sorry I missed it! Sounds like a blast. And sounds like good eats, too. I may need to steal your recipes for pierogies and chicken paprikash.