The perfect nights *do* happen…

Our annual fondue night went in a slightly different order this year. First, there was the Peach Bowl, then the cocktail class*, then the gift opening, then fondue & raclette. All on New Year’s Eve. And a couple of things slipped through the cracks–I forgot to slice both the portobellos for the Chinoise (beef bouillon) and the pineapple for the chocolate fondue. But the thinly-sliced layers of shiny red sirloin, the plump tenderness of a shrimp accented by curry aioli, the crusty-bread dredged through rich, dense cheese sauce, the lemon cake dipped in chocolate, the prosecco–these were the moments that resonated with us as we feasted, again. I love our annual fondue tradition.

And unlike prime rib night, things went flawlessly. The kids were funny and helpful and giddy with cocktail experimentation. The gift-giving was low-key, all of us sitting closely around the base of the tree, wrapping paper flying, the gifts hilarious. It was a convergence, last night, of the season and the anticipation of what the new year brings…my son off to Honk Kong, Ben’s son off to college in the fall, his daughter possibly ensconced in a fellowship at her university throughout the summer. Life marches on, and sometimes, it’s perfection.

*Cocktail class was an experimentation session for which each kid chose a cocktail to make. We purchased the ingredients and pulled-out the shakers. Each kid made her/his own recipe (one serving, only), and it was passed in sipping cups around the table. Tasting notes were shared, colors were explored (what about Blue Hawaii?), comparisons made, and each new recipe’s challenge intensified the competition. Comments scribed into the cocktail book stand as evidence of the evening. Along with the memories.

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