Monday, December 10, 2012

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit

It's no secret that since spring, instead of eager anticipation for the next season, I've been dragging my feet into the next season. I wasn't quite ready for summer, and then I didn't want it to end, which was surprising because autumn is my favorite season, Thanksgiving didn't really seem like a mid to late November event, and, despite the calendar saying it is December, I am not really excited about the winter holiday season. That is unusual because usually I can't wait to start cookie baking (and eating). I usually love getting out all the Christmas decorations and getting misty over grandpa's University of Rhode Island ornament (where he studied engineering) and sniffling at great grandma's red bell ornament. I smile with glee when we plug in grandma's light up Frosty (to me, all snowmen are called Frosty).

We trimmed the tree and decorated last weekend, so that helped a bit. This past weekend, we attended SP's work holiday party, and that helped put me more in the holiday spirit. This year, his work holiday party was at the Carnegie Museum. The first part of the evening was being able to view the dinosaurs - so nice to see the exhibit without the usual crowds and over excited children! There were cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the balcony overlooking the dinosaurs. Duck on tiny pieces of toasted bread, pot stickers, bacon wrapped scallops, tiny egg rolls... yum!

The next part of the evening was in the Music Hall Foyer. I don't remember having ever been in this area before, despite our numerous trips to the museum. It's beautiful, a 50 foot ceiling of gilded baroque d├ęcor, supported by pillars of marble from five different countries, plus an ornate metal balcony.

On our way there we passed a table filled with shrimp cocktail shooters:
They were delicious, but I didn't drink my tomato-vodka shot! I just ate the shrimp.
In the foyer were several stations. The first one we visited was a crackers & dip station. There were many different crackers and toasted breads. My favorite was the row second from left in the photo, the light colored, round cracker.
There were four 'dips' (spreads). I think there was a hummus, an olive one, a spinach one, and not pictured was a hot artichoke one, I think, and that one was my favorite.
There was a potato bar with potato chunks, a cheesy mashed potato, short ribs, and I can't remember what else, but the mashed potato and short rib martini glass treat I had was delicious.

A sushi station (SP's favorite station):
There also was a station with a really delicious, tender, flavorful beef tenderloin sliced and served on a mini bun, asparagus spears with chopped egg, and wild rice.

Last, but definitely not least, my favorite station, the cookies:
So many different kinds - I enjoyed even more kinds than were on the plate in the above photo. 

In addition to the wine and mixed drink stations, there was a station with an ice sculpture. Bartenders would mix up a martini, or I suppose get you a shot of something, pour it through a tunnel in the ice sculpture and into a small glass. In the photo below on the left is a tasty peach concoction and on the right a lemon drop:
Wimp that I am, these were very tasty but a wee strong for me. I enjoyed a white wine and a red wine and tasted SP's whiskey sour. Towards the end of the evening SP's boss let us sip a taste of a pomegranate drink he got through the ice sculpture and it was delicious. I had SP get me one, and then another, but since it was late in the evening, neither was quite as tasty nor as alcohol filled as the one we tasted. They were mostly pomegranate juice, which was OK because I was thirsty and so I was drinking them kind of quickly. That, of course, would not have been possible if they were strong because if a martini is strong, it takes me hours to finish it as I take wee little sips. 

Some of my friends grumble about their work parties, or having to go to their spouse's work parties, but I've never really minded work holiday parties. I've never had a horrible time, or gotten drunk and puked on a boss, or horribly embarrassed myself (well, OK, I hope I've never done anything embarrassing). I enjoyed meeting SP's co-workers and their spouses and I have to say, these are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

The last part of the evening was tough because there was LOUD music and dancing. We are not dancers. and, well, we're old. We don't like LOUD music anymore! It made it really, really difficult for me to talk to people because I could barely hear them, even when our heads were so close we were about to bonk them! I suppose music and dancing are just a part of every holiday party, much as they are for nearly all weddings (but not ours - no music and no dancing were non-negotiable!) so I'll just have to cope!

Tasty food, good beverages, interesting & nice people to talk to -- what more could one want from a party?!


  1. It was loads of fun getting to see you and SP again!

    Thanks for posting the review so I don't have to!

  2. I want to work where SP works!! Looks like a wonderful party!