And it’s a New Year!

I have a few resolutions for the New Year, and doing a little more in the way of blogging is on the top of the list.  And spending more time with friends.

Speaking of friends, we had a few folks out to help us celebrate the new year… my beloved, Russ, was here (as were our “children”… Kady, Minna and Dallis.  Which are our West Highland White Terriers), a few friends (Aimee and Klista) that I’ve known for well over 20 years each.  Aimee brought my godson, Spenser (who is a senior in high school) and Klista brought her boyfriend (I’ve known him for a few years… I decided to matchmake with them recently).  We all had dinner… let me tell you about what we had, because it’s sooo cool and very yummy. 🙂

My mother lived in Japan for several years, and when she returned to the US she started a tradition of preparing Sukiyaki (a type of Japanese… stew… that is served in a hot pot from the table) for Christmas eve.  Our friends are all super busy with family stuff on Christmas eve, so we decided to do Sukiyaki for New Years eve instead.  And it was, as usual, very yummy!  We seared some thin slices of steak, then removed those and put a mixture of red wine, beef broth and soy sauce into the “hot pot” (aka electric skillet).  We put the meat back in and started adding additional ingredients into little piles… Bok Choy, Tofu, Baby Corn, Bean Sprouts, Water Chestnuts, Bamboo Shoots, Mushrooms (Oyster, Straw and Button), Carrots, Fresh Spinach, Green Onion, Green Peppers, “Cellophane” Noodles (they’re clear once cooked), etc.  We chatted while all of these items simmered… then, once hot, we decided to dig in and start eating.  After we made pigs of ourselves, we got everything cleaned up (when 6 people are clearing the table, it takes about 5 minutes!) and went back to the game room to hang out.

That’s when Klista started getting everyone set up for Tequila Shots, and that started our night of “experimental bartending” (it all apparently went well, although I heard rumor that one drink was nasty).  Around 10pm, a friend of Klista’s (Darren) showed up with his beloved (Lou)… and we all toasted in the new year together (and, after that, we played Rock Band until about 3 am).

I had a wonderful evening with both old and new friends, and I look forward to spending more time with all of them!

As I close out this post, I want to leave you with some thoughts, posted by my new friend Darren on his Facebook wall this morning:

“The new year is here and as we reflect on the past… The good and the bad. We have an opportunity to change ourselves and the world around us. Be thankful that you’re alive to take another breath, love your family and treasure your friends because today could be your last and know there is angels amongst us. Much love to you all and here’s to the best year yet…2012”

It’s a very fitting statement for all of us.  🙂

May you have a wonderful New Year!

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