Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ringing in A New Year

Celebrating with cherished acquaintances is one of my most favorite ways to ring in a new year. Last night was no exception, with a dinner party for thirteen at the elegant home of my dearest Baltimore friends, Robert and Jan.

For this festive occasion, I donned a new outfit, a sleeveless sheath covered all over in copper, silver and gold sequins by Bisou Bisou, which I picked up on sale at JCPenney in early December in preparation for a busy holiday season. Not caring for the black satin ribbon that came with the dress, I chose instead to cinch the waist with a stretchy black satin belt that was tucked into a box of clothing sent to me a few months ago by my best friend’s mother, Joyce, from Spokane, Washington.

I didn’t want to busy my ensemble with any other color besides the metallic sequins, so I covered the belt’s cloisonné buckle with a black silk flower pin and chose copper as the metal I would emphasize, which I accentuated in the form of a copper choker necklace, earrings and bracelet from Chico‘s, a copper and rhinestone fashion ring by Mixit for JCPenney, and a black fabric Dea Dread hair accessory custom made for me by Thea Osato of Baltimore (http://deadreads.etsy.com). I chose my favorite black patent platform heels by Call It Spring, a tiny copper handbag which was also a recent gift from Joyce, and headed out the door to Robert and Jan’s for a night of joyful revelry.

I was not disappointed. Robert and Jan’s lovely home was beautifully appointed in holiday décor, the glass dining table smartly set in their finest gold china and flatware. A trio of elegant desserts from Pâtisserie Poupon dressed the sideboard and champagne Bellinis kissed with Elderflower liqueur flowed freely from the moment I arrived.

As I helped Robert and his grandson, Michael, put the finishing touches on a gorgeous beef roast, succulent crab cakes, sautéed broccoli rapini, perfectly roasted root veggies, velvety mashed sweet potatoes and a delightful tossed green salad, guests helped themselves to a mouthwatering chicken liver pate garnished with boiled egg and caramelized onions which had been painstakingly prepared over a complicated two-day process by Robert’s esteemed friend and fellow Cork And Fork Society enthusiast, Fred, and his lovely wife, Barbara. I was thrilled when Robert announced that the wine he would pour with dinner was my all-time favorite Cabernet from Silver Oak Cellars and I practically swooned when he uncorked a 1995 vintage Silver Oak magnum from his well-appointed wine cellar.

Robert and his beautiful wife, Jan
We concluded our delectable feast just ten minutes before midnight and quickly adjourned to the media room, grabbing paper horns and champagne flutes as we counted down the last few seconds of 2012 with Ryan Seacrest, noting with considerable regret that this was our first New Year’s Eve without Dick Clark in many decades. Once the old year was put to rest and a new year had sprung to life amid innumerable hugs and kisses, we friends gathered once again at Robert and Jan’s table to dig into those tempting desserts and sip more champagne.

Jan and I celebrate great fashion!
Later, safely tucked into my warm bed at home, I contemplated the departure of the dragon and the approach of the snake, noting that the sixth animal in the Chinese zodiac is a harbinger of uncertainty and undulation, and that cooperation and teamwork will be key to navigating the coming months’ prognostication of unforeseen obstacles and challenges. The snake is wise and patient. She takes a philosophical view of the ambiguous path ahead and moves carefully, stoically. Sounds like good advice to me.
Happy new year, everyone.

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