We've outsourced Sophie for the evening to her grandmother, where they will spend the evening with one of the Phylli (my mother-in-law has at least two friends named Phyllis, and I was married to Big S. for probably eight years before I correctly sorted them out). They will read stories, watch Animal Planet, eat dungeness crab for dinner, and—most important—retire well before midnight.
Big S. and I are heading over to Marin for a get-together at the home of the same friends who also hosted our group's Yankee swap. They have the largest and loveliest home, and we all clearly take advantage of it. Really, they have graciously stepped in at the last minute because the couple who were supposed to host tonight's festivities are ill. The rest of us are trying to make things as easy as we can on our hosts by carting over a bunch of food. My friend Herb will be bringing some homemade crab cakes, some finger sandwiches, and what he refers to as "various combinations of shit on a shingle." I think he means canapes. Whatever he shows up with, it will be excellent because that's just how Herb does things.
I'm going to take my carmelized onion dip and put together a Croquembouche over there. I'll make the custard filling and pastry dough here; we'll bake and fill the puffs there; and then we'll cook the caramel, dip the puffs, and assemble there—sort of an audience-participation dessert, if you will. This is the effect we're aiming for:
I'm really looking forward to an adult evening because this is what I tangled with today:
Honestly, what did I ever do to the people who gave this to Sophie? Absolutely no one hates gum more than I. It was an evil mess (I threw out a dinner knife we used for stirring), but Sophie loved it.
However, I wisely took a pass on this one so Big S. could have the pleasure of an activity with Sophie—outside.
Hope everyone has a safe and festive New Year's Eve.