New Year’s Eve 2005

The picture here was taken after the meal and so everything was already cold.

Each New Year’s Eve for years now, we’ve had friends over for this meal. This year, as the year before last, one friend who drives truck for a living found himself on the road and unable to attend. I guess that makes the one pictured here his. I put it into the refrigerator of course, but I doubt it will be here when he gets back from the East Coast.

We intended this meal to be much lighter than previous years’. Yeah, I know what the American reader is thinking, but we actually succeeded quite well. Remember that just because the courses are fewer or more ill-defined doesn’t mean Americans eat less. Au contraire ! We were looking for less food and less work in the kitchen.

We started with a lemon sorbet, a sort of concoction to prepare the palate.

The first course consisted of a plate of cold cuts including Emmenthal and Provolone cheeses, two sorts of salami, Black Forest ham and roast beef. Home-made bread was served to accompany the meal. Next up came a mesclun salad with small tomatoes and mozarella cheese.

The main course consisted of medium-rare prime rib fresh from more than 3 hours roasting in the oven, a baked potato with butter and sour cream and a vegetable sauté.

The cheese course was a baked Brie (not pictured). For dessert (also not pictured), I made a lemon custard (properly termed, lemon curd) poured over chunks of pound cake and topped shamelessly with a daub of crème chantilly. (I was going to find some blueberries, but got busy and forgot to go find them at the store.)

Julene handled the salad, the Brie and baked me a pound cake. She has become quite indispensable over the last few years and I can no longer cook large meals without her. I used to spend the better part of two days in the kitchen prior to a do like this one, but this time, I spent only the afternoon plus just what I needed to make the bread over the preceeding 24-hour period.

Also, Julene is the sole decorator when it comes to choosing dish- and glassware, flatware and napkins, tablecloths and centerpieces.

As usual, I can’t think of any cardboard boxes, cans or other packages containing more than one ingredient (sack of flour, package of cheese, etc.) that were harmed during the creation of this feast.