So, our afternoon adventures outdoors were forced to end because the sun decided to set on us.
We weren’t too devastated, though, because we had some fun plans for the evening.
Will started a fire for us in the stove.
He was very proud of it.
We started out slowly, lounging around and looking at some of the books the owners kept in the cabin.
Like, for instance, this one:
A book for children. And a recipe, inside, to keep kids healthy:
We had some fun food planned for ourselves, but unfortunately, Ed was the one who had planned the entire menu. While Will and Michelle headed out to pick up some stomach bug provisions for Ed (you know, ginger ale, saltines, pepto, etc.), Katri and I were left with the recipes and ingredients. Katri took on the meat and I took on the vegetables. And the cake.
Anyway, though we missed Ed, we didn’t let the change of plans stop us from having fun! I started my night off with my first (of many) gin & tonic.
Interestingly, I’ve never liked gin & tonics before, but I loved them that night.
We lit a Bayberry candle for good luck, and yes, we kept it going all night. I didn’t know about this tradition, but Michelle told me that if you keep it burning to the end, it promises good luck for the year. I looked it up, and apparently the saying goes, “A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.”
Since the dinner we were preparing was one that was going to take hours, we started the evening off with baked brie and crackers.
Unfortunately, some of the cooking and all of the eating occurred late in the night, in the dark, and after a fair amount of imbibing in alcohol. In other words, sorry for the pictures. I totally failed as a food blogger.
The main dish was Ropa Vieja, which is a braised, shredded beef that takes hours to cook but is worth every minute. It was cooked in a vegetable dish called Sofrito. The entire mix was served over rice.
On the side, we had yams, which were cubed and roasted with honey, vanilla, butter and cinnamon.
Terrible pictures. Terrible. Sorry.
Everything was insanely good. And that’s not just the gin talking.
Oh, and there was also that cake, which went from this:
And the next morning, it looked like this:
Can you tell I’d already been drinking when I made it? 😉
Anyway, the rest of the night was kind of a blur of gin & tonics, Apples to Apples, Will and his scotch, lots of laughter, a champagne toast, and wonderful friends.
A pretty fantastic night, if you ask me.
And… I think this picture I took the next morning (after some cleanup, mind you) pretty much sums it up:
There were only four of us. I don’t know how it happened, either.
Anyway, I had to leave pretty early, but I managed to sneak one last New Year’s ritual in before I hit the road: burning away things I’d like to leave in 2010.
Goodbye, 2010. Here’s to a great 2011!