Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reeling a little...

...from T-Day, as expected. Getting through the day job in a butter-induced coma of sleep deprivation. Nothing to complain about, it's just how it is.

This year we had the extra fun of a medical procedure in the family to get us going early on Friday morning. All is well, so don't worry about anyone's health. A short pudding recovery later, we finished loading up the car and picked up Susan and Daniel and hit the road. Slogged through some traffic & grabbed a case of wine on 9th Avenue (only some of it was for the party) then kept slogging for a while until we got north of the city and were free to pursue happiness in the form of lots of friends and food.

So that's what we did. A stop at a diner in Connecticut (with one of those fun little in-the-booth jukeboxes) and we hit the Revels in Roslindale (part of Boston) at around 4. Reunited with the whole crew, had some food, went out to Somerville to see My Own Worst Enemy play an amazing set, hit a crazy little party in Lower Allston hosted by a friend of Sue B., then back to Rozzy. While we were out Sue K. revealed the little detail that she is expecting another baby! Holy procreation, Batman!

Next day was an orgy of cooking. So. Much. Food. The Main Feast had about 28 people, including the little kids, and we baked I think 10 apple and 4 pecan pies. Do the math - that's a pie for every 2 people. And yes, some other people made their way in over the course of the weekend, but this still gives you a sense of the scale of food we're talking about. We were set with 3 turkeys - one brined with a sausage stuffing, one basted with 'regular' stuffing, and one de-boned (way to go Tamiko!), stuffed with an entire loaf of jalapeno corn bread, and covered in a spicy wet rub. Pike had his own stuffing recipe, and didn't want to settle for baking it in a casserole dish. So the way he solved this dilemma was... he went out and got another turkey. Yup. Homemade everything - roasted veggies, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese (oh, Tamiko hosted a fresh mozzerella-making party too), salads, cranberry sauces, cakes, and of course those pies. AND - Lia made homemade grapefruit sorbet, and Tamiko made some homemade honey apple ice cream. [Tamiko wins the Culinary Queen award for this year's fiesta for sure.] The food went on for miles. Also the wine, beer, cider, Kentucky Chocolate, grapefruit sorbet daquiries, etc.

The video game Rock Band took center stage at portions of the party for the first time this year. I was not as obsessive as some of the peeps, though I did get in my licks (including a rendition of Spinal Tap's Stonehenge that I was rather proud of.) Also, lots of playing with the kids (I was one of Cleo's favorites this year, which was a pleasantly surprising development) some wordy games, and of course plenty of pinochle.

Sunday was leftoverfest, natch, and some stragglers made their way over too. There was a field trip to the Boston ICA, which I skipped in favor of lazy socializing and an epic game of pinochle worthy of ESPN Classics. Then, I made risotto...

Ok, here's a thing that it's important to know about making risotto for a large group: it takes a lot longer than making enough for, say, 4-6 people. It seems that when you double the recipe, you quadruple the time it takes. I mean, not quite that, but - oh my Cory and I had some stirring to do to bring our butternut squash and shitake mushroom extravaganza to completion. Still, it was rather good, if I may say so myself. Oh, and remember all those pies? Add to them another half dozen turkey pot pies. You're starting to see where that butter-induced coma came from.

Then on Monday (virtually EVERYONE was able to stay until Monday this year! A couple sadness-making exceptions, but it was a good crew.) we had some sourdough pancakes and did our Yankee Swap. That went well, with the comedy of parents using their children to manipulate the transactions, no shortage of grotesque, glorious gift items, and suspense right up until the end, including the last-minute twist of Beth taking the hideous necktie and pumpkin spice liqueur (no kidding) voluntarily, nay - actively. As Kevin said, "That's a smelly hangover waiting to happen." All went well from our end - Cory provided the party with a near-mint-condition 5 iron and a vintage Trivial Pursuit game, got a box of tea she's looking forward to, and gave some Christmas ornaments to our hosts Molly & Rudy; we found a happy home for the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer light that lived in my kitchen once upon a time; and I took home a super-secret surprise that may end up in one of your stockings if you're very, very lucky...

Then the goodbyes started trickling in and eventually we had to hit the road too. A good day for a drive, other than the sun in my eyes heading west on the Mass Pike. And after some passenger shuffling and luggage unloading I even got a minor parking miracle in Chelsea. And after a few nights on an air mattress, we were able to extra-special enjoy the magnificence of sleeping in a real bed again.

So that's it. That's the story. 'Twas a fab and fooderiffic affair.

2 comments:

kamcclafferty said...

Oh, and let's not forget Kathleen's Ruby Red Grapefruit cocktails all weekend!!! mmmmmmmm (hic-cup)

mick said...

Heaven forfend! I think I was too hepped up on the effects of those grapefruit goofballs to have clarity of recall...

So fun having you at the soiree this year!