Friday, 31 December 2010
Another year gone, sob! Where did 2010 go I ask you? Perhaps down the back of the sofa, not to be seen for months then discovered, liberally spattered with fluff.
Still, every cloud has a silver lining and the passing of 2010 brings an excuse for a celebration. And with it, the ever troubling question: what to do for New Year's Eve..?
This year will be my first ever as host. I will be defying the cold snap by turning up the heating full whack and building a vast bonfire in our even vaster garden, toasting marshmallows, eating finger food and merrily wiling away the evening with my nearest and dearest (minus you darling, get well soon xxx).
And to eat? Of course my first thought was to faithfully reproduce this lush feast by Adriaen van Utrecht, complete with parrot and monkey. But nobody likes a show off, so here is my alternate, slightly less demanding menu for the night that will allow me to enjoy the evening with minimum histrionics:
~ nibbly nuts roasted with chilli, rosemary and fennel seeds
~ warm salad of roasted butternut squash and toasted seeds with rocket
~ penang laksa salad – rice noodles, prawns, tuna, tamarind juice, lime, mint, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, raw bean sprouts, lemon grass and pineapple
~ thai fishcakes with chilli and lime dipping sauce
~ baked filo parcels filled with pea, mint, and feta
~ warm crusty bread and cheese
~ veg sticks with homemade hummus and dukkah dip
~ a flourless chocolate, almond and orange cake topped with softly whipped cream and chocolate curls
~ an elegantly piled Dutch still life of red grapes, figs, red apples and pomegranates
Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing - happy new year!