Last night, in lieu of a proper meal for my boys, I hurriedly prepared a grouping of appetizers. It was, after all, New Year’s Eve.
With a nervous eye on the clock, I poked at the semi-frozen jumbo shrimp to see if it was ready to serve. Chipping away at the ice covering a clump of the finest Aldi had to offer, I dumped them in my fancy glass salad bowl and set them on the table next to a just-opened jar of cocktail sauce. Next, I diced a block of colby-jack cheese, scattered them on a platter and unleash a row of Ritz crackers along side them.
The centerpiece of this non-meal meal, though, was my Mom’s famous cocktail meatballs. Half the fun of making them is seeing my boys reaction when I mix a jar of chili sauce with grape jelly in a sauce pan.
Let the nosh begin!
We nibbled 2011 away until there was nothing left but the discarded shrimp shells in the disposal.
At midnight, we took to the deck in our jammies and parkas to light the sparklers that had been tucked away in a cabinet since I bought them last July. The clear sky was ablaze in stars. We stood shivering, admiring God’s handiwork and listening to neighbors’ firecrackers popping.
We capped off the night by watching “Duck Soup”. I can’t think of a better way to put the events of 2011 in their proper perspective. My boys giggle the night away at the Marx Brothers’ antics.
This morning, they are waking up slowly, working their way through their sparkly grape juice and kiddie cocktail hangovers. With school not starting until Tuesday, I expect that they will take full advantage of the reprieve and spend the day with video games and movies.
In the meantime, I’m contemplating what I’ll make for dinner to kick off my “serve-a-sit-down-family-dinner-everyday-in-2012” resolution.
Because it’s a holiday, I have a couple of choices. I’m tempted to take the easy route and shuffle my gang over to my Mom’s. She’s offered to make spiral-cut ham with her famous baked beans. As generous as she is, I hate to put her through the trouble. Besides, squeezing my entire brood in her house is a little like letting a half dozen bulls loose in a china shop.
Naw, I’ll just plop some country ribs in the crock pot, douse them in BBQ sauce and make egg noodles, oven-roasted potatoes and corn for sides.
Sunday dinners are easy. The real challenge will start this week when the boys are back in school, I’m back at work and my tax-preparer spouse pretty much disappears until April 16th.
Come to think of it, maybe I’d better take my Mom up on her offer after all….