New Year, resolutions and cooking books

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone visiting (or not) this blog. I hope you stepped with the right foot into the New Year and that 2006 will be filled with health, joy, friendship and love. May all your wishes come true!

After a cold start in Brussels, I moved on to snow and a very white Christmas. Relaxing times followed, where I was spoiled with good food and the love of family and friends. With Christmas being taken care of by the wonderful cooking of my mother and grandmother, my last foodie input in 2005 was preparing, cooking and organizing a New Year dinner party for 8.Back in Brussels very last minute (resolution for 2006 no. 1: be more organized) it meant a sprint through the shops, a fight over who does what, barely escaping a fall on the icy streets of Brussels, learning how to open oysters, and trying to find all the ingredients necessary for what had to be a perfect dinner. Somehow I relate to Laura from Cucina Testa Rossa very much.

Moving on.

Finally at home, with duties shared, the actual preparation started. Setting the table was easy, although polishing 40 glasses (champagne, water, white wine, red wine) is really not something I would wish my worst enemy!

On to the food, the dinner menu was a combination of French and English traditions, with a modern twist and Spanish input. We started with oysters – which in the end were opened by the fishmonger – and champagne. On to the foie gras with a choice of onion and figue jam, and a sweet white wine. Then, for luck and superstition, fish: we had smoked salmon and a salmon patι. Home made bread (which I can not take credit for!). A choice of sausages and meat bought at the Brussels Christmas Market, with the blueberry and bison ones the top favorites.

The English input was the lamb with roasted potatoes, beans and a gorgeous mint sauce … this all after we celebrated a Greek New Year (11:00pm local Belgian time), a Spanish New Year (12:00pm local Belgian time) and were on to the English New Year (01:00am local Belgian time) and the third bottle of champagne.

And to end a cheese platter and a chocolate cake (resolution for 2006 no. 2: lose weight?)

I think in short this was New Year.

2006 started. My first ‘investment’ this year? Two cooking books: the Silver Spoon and the Cook’s Book (estimated time of arrival: February 2006). This means the year ahead will be filled with inspiration, imagination, experimentation and challenges. And another 8 resolutions to make.

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