Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year Gathering 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

We hosted a New Year celebration this year in our place with friends and their kids. 8 adults and 6 kids. We had a blast. I'm so glad that we did this, after the party, I feel the house is so empty, really miss the friends' company.

We started talking about New Year celebration in October, I was not sure if we were capable to host as even though we had moved in, the house was still undergoing some home improvement projects. Like for example we still didn't have a place to hang our winter costs, our dressing was not started (still not)...The house was not perfect to host, but our guests were very understanding, they didn't mind just for one night, they came with their sleeping bags.

I worked on Thursday and Friday. Since the girls were on holidays, they stayed with me, so I had to work from home while taking care of them. As soon as hubby was home, I rushed to the supermarket to buy groceries. It closed at 8pm, but the fresh food sections (meats, vegetables, seafood) started to get things of their display at 7pm. Saturday morning (31th) was spent to clear the house whereas hubby went for the last round of grocery shopping (for fresh meats mainly). I did this as soon as I had time but with the girls, the place got untidy and dirty quickly. The girls' rooms were cleanup to receive guests. 

Some guests arrived around 3pm. They helped us prepare the food. French women I know are all very capable, they usually prepare everything before hand so when guests arrive, the kitchen is spotless and they are with you through the meals. This is so unlike the Malaysian style, where my mother and aunt are busy cooking while the guests and other family members would start eating without them. Anyway, hubby likes to gather everyone and prepare things together. 

Our friends prepared a game for the kids : fishing for gifts!

I prepared a gift bag for the kids. Inside, it has some party items like a balloon, a hat...most importantly, I wanted to include some Malaysian touches : a paper lantern and a pack of handheld firework. Malaysian kids play paper lantern with candle during Autumn festival and firework during Chinese New Year. When it got dark, we had a work outside with lantern and firework, despite the freezing weather. For some reason, the firework was difficult to light compared to those we had in Malaysia, so finally not every kid got to play with it.

Apéro : Margaritas (a Tex-Mex drink we loved from US), some light starter. I also prepared a verrine (pamelo, avocado, smoked salmon with lemon juice) and some stuffed mushrooms.

The men were preparing Caïpirinha, a type of Brazilian drink with sugarcane liquor, sugar and lime. We learnt this from a Brazilian friend during our stay in Austin.

 The main course 1 : Chinese style hotpot

The main course 2 : Plancha (griddle) with 7 types of marinated meats. We bought 1,5kg of beef, 1kg of chicken, 500g of pork.

The kids were having fried rice and chicken nuggets at far end. In general people prefer the plancha, I was into hotpot. The hotpot ingredients could be grilled as well. Overall, people got their dose of meat and seafood, they seemed to be very satisfied.

At mid-night, we had champagne and kissed and wished everyone a prosperous New Year. We continued our soirée with a game. We had light dessert : mango and lycee around 2am in the morning. The courageous men stayed up till 5am.

In the morning, we gradually woke up around 11am, had breakfast, went for a walk, and continued the plancha for lunch. Some friends left before lunch, some after lunch, some helped us clean up (we don't have a dish washer). After they left, we took a nap. It was tiresome but we got a great time.

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!

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