Thursday, January 1, 2009
New Year's Eve Spanish Feast
I have never really liked New Year's Eve.
This is largely because I am not a late-night-party person. And I am totally unable to pretend that I am having a good time when I would rather be home in bed with the dog. For years I would go to see my now-ex boyfriend play rock shows in and around the city. I spent most of those New Year's Eves trying to stay awake at the back of a bar while packs of drunken revelers smashed glasses and shouted expletives around me.
One year I offered to babysit for my friend Lisa so she and her partner, Richard, could go out and party. I hung out with their son Elliot until his bed time, then listened to CBC, read the paper, and ate snacks until midnight. It was the best New Year's Eve I'd ever had. It was also the first year anyone told me that how you spend New Year's Eve portends how you are going to spend the coming year. Sure enough, by July of that year I had ditched my boyfriend and taken up temporary residence in Lisa and Richard's house where I spent the rest of the summer listening to CBC, reading the paper, and eating snacks.
Since then, I've put some thought into New Year's Eve, always making sure that whatever I do is something that sets me up well for the year to come. With that in mind, I spent last night preparing a big delicious meal with The Man of Science, surrounded by happy pets in a cosy house.
We decided on a Spanish theme because it allowed for a bunch of different dishes and because I am still not in the mood for anything super heavy, what with the potato-and-sugar-laden holidays barely behind me. We used recipes from the internet and barely strayed from them, so I'll post photos and links instead of re-hashing other people's recipes for you.
My favourite dish of the night was the tapas mushrooms which were cooked in sherry:
We ate the mushrooms first along with olives, bread, cheese, and some marinated artichoke hearts:
The vegan frittata was delicious, but didn't turn out nearly as pretty as the version pictured on Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. I used cornstarch instead of potato starch and wasn't exactly sure when to add it to the mix, so I imagine that had something to do with it not firming up properly:
While the frittata was baking, the Man of Science cooked up some vegan paella with lots of vegetables in the rice and a bunch more artichoke hearts on top:
And there was wine and sherry and then champagne at midnight. And then I fell into bed in a well-fed stupor. 2009 is off to a very filling start.