Today’s post is more of a newsy-type blog post. You know, how people sometimes call blog posts “newsletters?”
I could never figure that out because why on earth would anyone be interested in my news.
Nowadays, a lot of you are interested in my news. Some of you don’t care one way or the other. And, several subscribers have already unsubscribed. lol, I still love you anywaaaaaaay. Have a nice liiiiiiiiiife…
So, instead of me wasting your precious time any further, I’m going to jump right in to tell you about my holiday party 2021 and a few things I learned.
Oh, wait. Forgive me, please. We need some music to get in the mood!
This is the album I played for the party. I found it via Youtube, which I can play on my TV. The TV is connected through a sometimes temperamental receiver connected to surround sound speakers in the den. However, I’m not complaining. The previous owner left it all for me.
Michael Bublé. He’s the 21st-century Robert Goulet and blessed with a silky rich, resonant baritone voice. And, a disarmingly sweet, boyish upper register. Plus, he’s quite easy on the eyes. Sigh…
If you prefer, you can listen and look at this charming retro-style video where you can also see Michael singing “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas.”
As most of you know, I began preparing for my holiday party 2021 in mid-November.
A lot of that was because I needed so many essential items. You can see most of them here.
- The table pads
- Table cloth
- paper or plastic napkins, plates, cups, forks, spoons
- tree, garland, ornaments, lights, candles, holders
- Plus, my dress/petticoat, and headband
- firewood – Three different kinds.
- Oh yeah, the toolset.
And, numerous shopping trips for food.
Lucky for me, my place doesn’t need a lot to look festive.
Laurel, we know that. Please can we see your holiday party dress? Pretty please? You better have a pic of you in that darling reindeer dress!
Yes, of course. I know you’re busy right now.
Sorry, this is the least out-of-focus one of me standing up. I wish you could see the long sash with the big bow in the back. The party was already underway, and about half of the ladies were there.
This next one is a better photo.
Ugh. I was so rushed at the end; I didn’t even have time to put a pair of hose on. And, those shoes only made it through the first hour. lol.
First of all. It is true what everyone says when it comes to parties.
Women don’t eat much.
Here’s my new rule. Provide half as much as you think you’ll need, and you’ll still have double what is actually consumed.
I might not go to the trouble of making roasted chestnuts unless maybe you soak them in water for at least two days first.
And, even then, I’m not sure. Most of the chestnuts are very difficult to get out of their shells after roasting. And, yes, I did make Xs in the shells.
If you make them and they come out whole, I would cut in halves or even quarters. I did a final roast with a bit of butter and salt. Hang on; I will get some to snack on while I’m writing.
Actually, you can warm them up in the microwave a little, and they’re quite delicious.
Okay, I’m enjoying the chestnuts this afternoon. I would make them ahead of time and freeze them, so you’re not too taxed come party-time.
Why did I make chestnuts in the first place?
The group of women is called “The Chestnuts.” That is after Chestnut Street on Beacon Hill. And our holiday party 2021 was called “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”
I just went and brought the bowl of roasted chestnuts into the den so that you could see them.
Next to the chestnuts are sugared cranberries. They are also yummy and easy to make. Plus, they look festive to snack on or use as a drink garnish.
I also had a yen to make those 1″ sweet and sour cocktail meatballs. And, no, I did NOT use grape jelly.
So, to make my life easier, I looked to see if I could find some ready-made meatballs. Well, I did, from Tarzhay. I was skeptical, except the reviews waxed poetic. I had them delivered along with a couple of other things.
There was only one problem.
They are micro meatballs. Lol. They would be suitable to put in a soup or a dish, but I couldn’t serve them as cocktail meatballs.
So, Wednesday night, I spent two hours making 88 of them. Way overkill.
Even after a friend took a cup of them home, there were still 58 left. I did try passing them around. However, those that tried them liked them, they said.
By the way, I made them gluten-free, and you’d never know it. I found some gluten-free panko bread crumbs. They are like tiny little crackers, so I threw them in the blender to make them a little smaller.
Then, I craved to make a chocolate, mocha, chestnut cream cake; also gluten-free.
I don’t have a problem with gluten, but some of the other chestnuts do.
As I don’t want to burden those interested in baking with recipes, I’ve posted the recipe for the gluten-free, mocha, chestnut cream cake here.
Oh, one of the women had two pieces and then begged me for the recipe. I figure that many of you are on gluten-free diets and might like to try this cake.
Incidentally, it’s gluten-free, not calorie-free. haha. But, it is a rich, satisfying cake and made with chestnuts!!!
And, if you’re not on a gluten-free diet, please check out my best ever chocolate cake recipe.
My friend Lisa came to my rescue and brought over the fixings for numerous charcuterie boards. She ended up making two, but really, one was more than enough. The second one, in the den, wasn’t even touched.
Nobody went in there the entire evening except for me to deal with the music.
But, you could still see the Suzanne tree through the door. This is so funny. I was just looking at the photo and thought. What? I promised them I was going to get rid of the wire. What’s wrong with me? And then, when I zoomed in, I realized it was a mirror leaning against the wall.
Where did Joe go? I put Joe on the floor next to the Zuber screen. But, he’s back in his spot now. I don’t know if he’s going to make it. But, I’m trying not to think about it.
Where’s the headband, Laurel?
Well… I didn’t wear it for the party. I had my party hair and done by Giselle, my favorite stylist at the Dry Bar around the corner. It looked too goofy for this event. But, I wore it earlier today.
Let’s see your party hair, Laurel.
I went all wavy for the party. I didn’t have time for much make-up either. The flush was from running around all day long! So, you can see that the scars from the accident are barely visible now.
Here, you can see my tabletop with a beautiful Anthropologie candle; plus, the table runner and new table cloth, and votives. It worked out beautifully, I think. Sorry, this is mid-party and not a staged-everything-perfect-styling.
Lisa, also made a beautiful Christmas punch, but I forgot to take a photo of that and a photo of the meatballs, which I think taste like the ones I had as a child. So, maybe you can see a subtle retro theme going on?
Here’s the cake. THIS, they ate. There was only about a quarter of it left at the end.
To entice you into checking out the recipe, the cake is filled with this sick (the good kind of sick) no-cook, no eggs, chestnut, chocolate, slightly mocha, filling. I’m sure it has a name, but I don’t know what to call it other than pudding. The recipe for this is here, too.
Sorry, someone left their backpack behind the chair. I edited it out of the one of me in the chair.
Now, for the fire.
On the day of the party, Lisa and I were working mad and were nearly all set up. It was 4:30. The party started at five. I’m not dressed, and the fire hasn’t been made.
Of course, I can’t find the lighter or the match sticks I have—Grrr… so typical. Ten minutes later, Lisa found them in the kitchen on top of the microwave.
Luckily, I ordered some duraflame logs with the baby meatballs. I stuck one on, added some excellent pine kindling, and with a baby-soft whoosh, the entire thing lit almost like it was a gas fireplace. Then, I added a small apple-wood log also ordered online. Smells great. I added one more log a little later and had a lovely carefree fire for the entire party.
Phew! Dodged a bullet there!
Here we all are having what they call a Yankee Gift Swap. I gather this is a New England thing. I won’t go into it here. But, everyone had a lot of fun.
A couple more things.
See the chandelier in the entry? See the light bulbs? There are three of them. That was another blinding nightmare. These candles are actually nightlight 3-watt incandescent bulbs. Yep. THREE WATTS is all they are.
I spent some time in the kitchen the last half hour, and there were always at least four other women in there. Could it have been the soft lighting? Or, maybe it’s because that’s where the wine was. lol
Laurel, did you forget about the contractor?
Yes, I forgot. ;]
No, he looked at me like I had three heads.
I was just kidding. Actually, he was super friendly and liked my ideas and drawings – a lot, he said.
Therefore, my next step is to write it all out. That will take some time, but I’m going to start working on it on Monday.
Friday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and went to our weekly coffee group at the far end of Beacon Hill.
It’s funny, but I’m no longer “the new girl.” There are two brand new lovely women who live near me, and we all walked over together.
On my way home, I took photos of a few of the gorgeous homes in Beacon Hill on Lime and Brimmer Street. I was going to go out today, for more, but…
one) it was raining
two) it was raining
I believe this lovely is on Lime Street.
38 Lime on the corner of Brimmer St. is almost definitely the most photographed door in Beacon Hill. Of course, it is! And, the owners have exquisite taste.
And then, the three classics on Brimmer Street.
Red door #1
The lovely green door.
Red door #2.
You can also see these doors in this post about the Doors of Beacon Hill in the spring and summer.
And, from last year in December, this post mostly shows evening shots of the gorgeous Christmas Decorating in Beacon Hill.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this post about my holiday party 2021!
And, I hope your holiday season is filled with warmth, great health, and love!
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