Thursday, January 1, 2009

An English New Year's Day family dinner with Family

Our New Years Eve event had gone rather oddly the night before. Hard to explain. It wasn't until round eleven that we actually began to play games. We have a long standing tradition of playing games on New Year's Eve. We did have fun, but then it ended abruptly when Sarah and Zac said they needed to get home before mid-night. Then the rest of us just settled into whatever. I was on the computer, minding my own business, when it got really noisy outside. I simply wondered what all the noise was about, and it didn't occur to me until well after the noise stopped that it was the noise of mid-night. All the rest of us were the same - we just simply missed it.

But the next day, New Year's Day, I would need to be a bit more together than I had been the night before. I think being snowed in was starting to get to me. But now there was no snow at the moment. I know this, because Ken and Marilyn came to dinner, and there is absolutely NOTHING that could entice Ken Yeaton to drive in the snow. Not even the least bit of it.

One thing that I really like to have done before guests arrive is to have the table set. I had been trying all day to count the number of guests, and I was quite certain that it was 12, and the table was set accordingly. It looked really lovely. I can't remember who did it, but I think possible it was Corey. But I'm not sure. But to my great surprise, when we all went to sit down for dinner there simply were not enough places for everyone. It took me about a minute to catch on to this conundrum. To my great shock there was 15 of us counting Caleb. I absolutely don't know how I got it so wrong. I'm usually very good at counting.

The guest list: Riley, Molly, Sarah, Zac, Ken, Marilyn, Grandma, Grandpa, Caleb, Christian, Emily, Annie, Nancy, Clarice, Corey

But what I did have right was how much food to feed the group. I had purchased a great big pot roast at Costco, and I simply cooked the whole thing. It seemed the just the right thing for a proper English feast. I also made two desserts. The grateful pudding was made to fit the large pudding steamer, and I believe I made the apple pie in the 12 inch pie plate.

Pot Roast with gravy
roasted veggies
French bread
Yorkshire pudding

Grateful Pudding with Lemon Sauce
Apple Pie

Emily was determined that we should have flowers on the table. For some reason Emily is excessively fond of flowers, which I think is wonderful. The other day she and I were at Trader Joes, and she was thrilled to discover the flower department, and she immediately grabbed up a bunch of daffodils and a bunch of red roses to place into the basket she was pushing around. I soon realized that the flowers would not survive if I were to manage to remove them from her grasp, so we went home with two lovely bunches of flowers.

Well dinner was actually ready in a timely fashion. I'm sure it was served later that I had originally estimated, but I think was actually sat down to eat at around 6:30 - which is a very early time for me to have a dinner ready. It didn't take like to sort out the seating. I think that Riley and I sat together at one end of the table, and Christian and Emily sat together at the other end of the table. It is our fantasy to one day have a table that can easily seat maybe 16 people. But so far the one we've found that would fill the bill costs about $4,500 - a bit much for now. Not to mention that maybe the dinning room isn't big enough - 14x17.

It was a lovely meal enjoyed by all - except maybe Corey, who can't eat beef. It doesn't seem to agree with her. My Dad especially appreciated the apple pie. I made a second smaller one just for him to take home. It was unbaked, so that was it would be perfect when he got around to eating it. Later, when he cooked it, he called me up to thank me again. He does love apple pie. I had made grateful pudding a couple weeks earlier, but the girls were upset that there wasn't enough. So that's why I made it on New Year's Day.

After dinner some Christmas presents were opened. This was in part because Sarah and Zac weren't around for Christmas. But I'm so bad about wrapping presents, that only Caleb got some presents.

“Continuous effort 
- not strength or intelligence 
- is the key to unlocking our potential” 
Winston Churchill

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