Happy New Year!

This year, I have resolved not to make any resolutions. So far I am doing well. I have been to the gym, once, and I have not said no to another mince pie, since they need eating up.

We welcomed in the New Year with a party. It’s sort of a tradition–more years than not, we have a party. We had parties in Mauritania, where guests came from Abu Dhabi, Sudan, Morocco and Switzerland. We had parties in Morocco where everyone was from America. This year, the bulk of the celebrants came from Iraq.

For some reason, I got a wee bit irrational about the food. I cooked for 2 days. I made 5 dozen coconut pies (tarts, really), and 3 dozen mini-quiches, 6 dozen chewy ginger cookies, and guacamole and chips. I made thousands, it felt like, of small pizzas, topped with mozzerella and hamburger cooked with onion and garlic and home-made sauce and crust. I gave myself a massive headache. At the last minute I made a batch of espresso/chocolate chip “muffins,” just in case. I made Donn and the kids do all the cleaning, including the last-minute frantic “Quick! Take that stack of books and stick them on the floor next to my bed! Close the door!” Luckily, none of the guests went anywhere near my room.

Everyone brought food. We had masses of food. Entire villages could have eaten their fill off that table. 5 days later, we are still eating food from the party, and everyone left with some to take home too.

This is only half the table…

The bright orange thing that looks like a dead muppet is called “kanarfa” or something like that. It is shredded pastry with food colouring, filled with cream cheese and pistachios, and it is delicious. Plus, you feel subversive, like you’re eating Snuffleupagus or Animal or…who’s bright orange?

Leslie made marionberry-filled mini chocolate cupcakes with marionberry-cream cheese frosting.

We had, in deference to the fact that my friends are Muslim, only sparkling cider. But it was very tasty!

We had some fun introducing these young arrivals, soon to be Americans, to an indispensable part of American life…Looney Tunes. First they watched some cartoons, then Looney Tunes – Back in Action, which has some very clever and funny parts but really, in my opinion, you only need to watch it once. My kids disagree.

It was a fun party that went until about 1:30. I think a good time was had by all. I know my headache lasted well into the new year, but it’s gone now, and so is the baklava, and the goulash (which isn’t soup–it’s this meat pastry thing that is delicious) and the qu’ba (deep fried meat and potato pastries…a big favorite round here). There are still a few coconut pies left though. Who wants to come over and help eat them up?

Happy 2012 to all! What did you do to celebrate?