And so it begins…

Welcome 2010!! Wow, it is hard to believe that last year is gone already-not to mention the first decade of the 2000’s!!  I am happy to be here on this first day of the new year when I can survey the blank squares of the calendar-unmarked and full of promise!  Fresh, no mistakes, no regrets and bursting with potential. Period.  For now it is a concrete fact that I have not missed any appointments,  over scheduled or over committed myself…yet.  I know those days will come but for now I am just reveling in the fact that this day is new and so are the next 364.  I know this can be said of any day of the year BUT there is more joy and gravity in saying it on the first day of a new year-nay-a new decade.  I am ready for you 2010-my arms are open-my time is yours and I am waiting for you to surprise me with the pleasure of your company.

The giddy-ness of now rests firmly on the shoulders of the last days of 2009 which were filled with frolicsome fun-firsts and frivolity.  OK so that may be a bit heavy on the alliteration but it kinda works here!  We had some really dear friends joining us to usher in the new year and I was busy bustling about tidying up, cooking and assembling tasty treats and in typical fashion–getting distracted by creative ideas that wouldn’t go away until I gave them free reign.  I had seen these cute little stockings for vases and what not and concluded in the middle of necessary doings that I had to stop everything and make them!!

My cat has an unusual propensity for licking certain sweaters and he had wreaked havoc on one of my all-time favs when I wasn’t looking.  This resulted in an unsightly hole in a very conspicuous spot with no hope of being repaired.  Solution?  Cut it up and make a snuggly sleeve for a tall glass vase-fill it with lights and ta-da!  Partner this with a vintage glass vase cozied up in a former cable knit sleeve and I have some warm atmosphere to carry me through the cold winter yet to come.  Little happy dance and back to the prep work…

I love to lay a sweet table and enjoyed the rest of the prep for our small little gathering.  I have an affinity for silvered glass and collect it (usually at after holiday sales when they are marked waaaaaaaay down) whenever I can.  There is a crispness about silver that is refreshing to me and the extra sparkle it adds never fails to put me in a festive mood.  So, here are a few shots of the humble and growing, groaning board.  These pics were taken pre-arrival of our guests and so while it may look sparse-believe me-it blossomed into a full blown feast fit for royalty!

Front left is a version of Mississippi caviar that contains the prerequisite black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year. Center front is a mixture of two varieties of home made crusty French bread toasts-plain and Parmesan/herb stuffed accompanied by an Artichoke Hummus.  In the background is a family favorite that goes way back-Black Olive Salsa.  May sound a bit different but it is always a hit, especially when it is served with blue corn tortilla chips.  You will also find the customary salami and cheese platter as well as a new addition (not in this pic) of Asian Maple calico Potato cubes (pictured below on left).

Upon arrival our guests added Mussels, amazingly yummy stuffed endive, traditional hummus and crackers, home made fudge, fresh shrimp and fresh veggies.  Add to that champagne (mandatory!), lemon strawberry martini’s(mmm) and an assortment of savory ales (ahhhh) and a good-nay- very good time was had by all!

So here is to our beautiful little birthday party for the new year!  You can’t top heartfelt, non-stop belly laughs with dear friends, delectable food and learning new beer games from your adult children (long story-another post).  I couldn’t have asked for anything better…

And-here is to each of you finding those moments where it all comes together and the joy is real.  May you have a new year that fulfills those endless possibilities hidden in the empty squares of your calendar!

Cheers, Salute, Prost and here’s wishing you joy, peace and a great 2010! May each day be So Worth It!