Sunday, January 06, 2008

And finally....

The day before New Year’s Eve, O-X drove to the Basel airport to pick up a second guest for our party. Hans is Ma’s cousin and also a very good friend of the family. Although we have often invited him to come spend a few days with us, he finally decided to do so a few weeks after Ma and Pa returned from their last visit in September.

He arrived at our house in the early afternoon and he was amazed to see Ma and especially Pa looking so healthy and relaxed. We opened a bottle of Champagne for the occasion and while I was preparing the goulash soup, I could hear them laughing and chatting away. Hans is such a great entertainer.

Orange-X walked Hans back to his hotel - only 500 meters away - to freshen up (he says that at his age, he needs a his privacy) and came back about 2 hours later. We went out for dinner at Pa’s favourite restaurant. No, it’s not a 5 star, but a simple Tex-Mex restaurant. They have excellent crispy wings there and that’s HIS dinner. You guys would not believe how he literally attacks those poor wings. Forget even trying to get his attention! There is NO WAY his eyes or hands are going to leave that plate! So what makes him happy makes us happy. After dinner we drove home for a last Irish coffee and then all went to bed.

We had many preparations for the New Year’s Eve Party, so the next day we did a few last minute groceries with Hans, dropped them off at home and took him for a mini shopping tour through Basel. We came back around 4.30pm which just left us enough time for the last minute preps. Thanks goodness it was cold enough outside to keep the drinks cold. Our fridges were busting at the seams already, and we knew that our guest would be bringing even more food, so whatever could go out on the patio, did.

At 7.45 pm, Hans was the first guest to arrive and all the others arrived within 5 minutes after that. O-X cracked open a few bottles of Champagne while we women were warming up food and setting up the buffet table. In the cold food department, we had a lovely cheese-crab ball with crackers, an incredible rocket salad with grilled vegetable, foie gras on fresh baguette and a huzaren (Hussar) salad made of red beet, carrots, potatoes, green beans, peas, beef, apple, pineapple and hard boiled egg in a mayo dressing. In the warm food department, we had the pasteitjes, cocktail wieners, Asian style meatballs, ham croissants and pangsit.
Not to mention the goulash soup and the deserts that never made their appearance that evening (I think we all ate too much). Believe it or not, with all that was going on, I completely forgot to take a picture of the buffet table. Now that I think of it, TBF could have done that instead of taking self-portaits. Or maybe Andy? Nahhh. He was busy enjoying his beer! ;)

It was a fun evening and a very active one, too. TBFeven did a bit of Rammy weight-lifting. And look... even Dale stuck around the whole evening. And I thought he'd go up and hide in the bedroom with so many guests in the house.

Orange had lit the torches in the garden and also made a nice fire in our caminero. Short before midnight, TBF, OX and I started opening the champagne for the New Year’s toast, but some of the corks were really stuck, and I felt a bit of panic. Three minutes to go to fill up 11 glasses? We were all sweating and hoping we’d get all filled and handed out before the stroke of midnight. And we made it.

At midnight, the fireworks went off and the New Year’s wishes were spread about in our little community of family and friends. Diana went to get the kids (only a few houses away) to join the fun. A few minutes later, we were all were standing outside warming up around the caminero to watch the fireworks.

After that, we all went back in for a nightcap. In the bar, I even found a leftover of a very special drink called Sortilege. It’s a whiskey mixed with maple syrup and can only be purchased in Quebec. We wanted to share it with all our friends and poured the last ounce or so into a glass and passed it on to all to have a sip. TBF of course, thought he could have more, but the bottle was empty. Sorry, buddy. Maybe next year?


The Big Finn said... that's what happened.

Thanks for a great evening. I'm still trying to work off all the calories I consumed that evening.

Ex-Shammickite said...

Great party.... did you all have throbbing headaches the next day?
JoJo thanks Dale for his lovely comment, but seeing they live on different continents, Dale will have to love from a distance...!

CanadianSwiss said...

TBF: Which part was it you forgot about? Have you worked off the calories from Paris already?

Ex-Sham: Actually, we didn't mix too much, so no hangovers :)

I think you're right about Dale. At his age, he's pretty reluctant to travel. It's already a hell to put him in his carry crate!

Ginnie said...

Happy, happy New Year, CS and O-X!!!! Of course you knew how to party properly and bring in the new year (while we slept it away!). How fun to read about all your friends who care for each other so well.

This year, 2008, WE will party!

Expat Traveler said...

that looks like a lot of fun!

Maybe I'm working out and doing brunch? Dinner with P tonight...

Maybe I'll talk P into buying me a bday gift? Really I don't know what else..

I got a wonderful swim/swiss bday card from work... I was happy my friend did so much work for me there!

Pray for less rain?

Expat Traveler said...

p.s. - I forgot to laugh harder at TBF and his Sortilege - never heard of that, must ask P..

And why can't you just add maple syrup to whiskey? Is that a sin?


CanadianSwiss said...

Ginnie: Again, my very best wishes to you and Donica for 2008 :)

And yes, WE will also have our little party this year!

ET: Maybe he HAS bought you a b-day gift already ;) And no wonder you have never heard about it; it's only sold in the province of Quebec. I can't even get it in my hometown and we live right across the river!

I guess you could mix the two together, but to get the perfect ratio might be pretty difficult and may cause a few headaches, too. LOL!