After a week-long trip to the East Coast, I’m happily (if only briefly) home in Seattle.

From Boston, where I spent some time with family & friends, I flew down to Maryland for a second shot at New Year’s with Drew and friends. Last year, I spent my 3 days in Lexington Park shuffling between the bathroom and bed, sick as a dog; hardly a lively time. This year, it was a great celebration filled with food and words, along with fantastic people.

On the food front, we did a ton of cooking. For New Year’s Eve, we made venison carpaccio, bacon-wrapped dates, artichoke dip, poached pears over blue cheese on toast, garlic shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, oysters, homemade deep-fried paneer with curry and chutneys, beer-braised venison ribs, and homegrown-lemon mousse napoleons for dessert. And there was more on other days: homemade pizza, cheesy eggs, and more bacon than you can shake a stick at. Phew!

The astute among you might notice that the lemon mousse is actually a repeat from New Years 2007/2008, including the homegrown fruit from Maine, courtesy of Sarah. A little investigating revealed that her mom’s lemon trees are actually Persian limes. The ones we used were definitely yellow, but, as this page explains, limes get yellow when fully ripe. In spite of the duplicitous fruit, everyone enjoyed dessert.

In the word games category, we filled not one but two spots on my all-time top hardest/most-complicated/most-awesome word game list.

First, we played a giant game of anagrams (similar to Banagrams) with a huge container of remainder Scrabble tiles off eBay, and imposed the extra rule that the crossword-like entity you built up needed to have crossword symmetry. I think that’s pretty much all a few of us did the day before New Year’s.

The second feat we accomplished was completing a crossword puzzle via charades. Each clue was painstakingly acted out (those guessing had to get the whole clue right, word for word) and eventually the grid filled out. This one took about 6 or 8 hours, all told, but spread over a whole day and night. I think we finished around 3:30 AM, when a few of us turned in. The rest apparently stayed up playing secret games (?) ’til all hours.

All in all, a very enjoyable time.

posted January 3, 2010 – 5:45 pm
Old News
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