Water and Wine at New Years

Most years of our decades-old marriage, we’ve rung in the new year circled around our dining room table encircled by friends; for some reason, this has never been a holiday we’ve celebrated with family.  I suppose since most every other holiday is, for us, New Year’s Eve is the time to celebrate with the family we choose, not the one we’re born into. In the early years, maybe because I felt the need to over-achieve or impress or perform, I’d prepare the entire meal.  I’d scour Southern Living magazine for months prior, searching out new recipes and decorating ideas.  It brings a smile to my lips now to think about those extra machinations–I actually decorated our light fixtures with greenery from our yard (oh, how I miss our Curly Willow tree & red-berried evergreens) and a few times I wrapped blocks of florist foam in moss and ribbon until these centerpieces resembled gifts for woodland fairies.

Forget Martha Stewart, I would’ve made the Nester proud!  Heck, if I had been blogging back then, I might have been the Nester!

Anyways…these days it’s much simpler:  everyone brings a few dishes and I’m not hiking through our yard with a machete.  I do use my fine china because a) I inherited it from my mother and it’s a way of honoring and remembering her, and b) it’s ludicrous to have it but not use it!  I’m so thankful for my mother-in-law who modeled this for me.  I honestly would rather break a piece every once in a while than have it sitting in a box in the attic.
I didn’t get any postable pictures of our companions Wednesday night, but I did manage a few of the starring attractions–THE FOOD!  Feast with your eyes on these fabulous dishes–I’m still savoring our meal two days later (click any of the pictures to embiggen…but do so at your own risk…:) ).
The appetizers…a delicious start ~
Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves
Mexican Dip

Coconut Cherry Dip

{top to bottom, Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves, Layered Mexican Dip, Cherry-Coconut Dip}

Side dishes that put the “comfort” in food ~

Asain Broccoli Salad

Baked Potato Casserole
Bacon-wrapped Green Bean Bundles
{l-r, Asian broccoli salad, baked potato casserole & green bean bundles wrapped in bacon}

A main course that they’ll be talkin’ about for ages–

Medium Rare Beef Tenderloin

A few drinks, a few desserts…

Cheesecake on cake stand

And as the ball dropped…

and the clock tick-tocked in the new year…

I was sleepily aware that the best things in life aren’t things.


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