So, I have to admit something.
I can’t remember the last time I left the house on New Year’s Eve. I mean, it’s not like I’m sitting alone on the couch with a bottle of schnapps, mumbling the verses of Auld Lang Syne and watching the TV fireworks on the last night of each year. (That only happened one year. Promise.)
It’s just that more often than not, I choose to spend the night with family and some close friends – usually at a beach house and always accompanied by good food and plenty of drinks.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by IGA. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
The beautiful part about bringing in the new year at home is that a) you never have to line up for a drink, b) the food is definitely not overpriced and c) there’s no waiting for cabs at 3am.
Instead, when the night’s over, you just politely excuse yourself and venture the 7 metres down the hallway to a cosy bed that awaits. It’s a win-win, really.
So anyway, after years of experience planning New Year’s Eve get-togethers, today I want to tell you about my tricks for success.
1. A good cocktail.
We try to mix it up each year. One year was Cosmopolitans, last year was something that involved gin and raspberry syrup (although after many, the details are now sketchy) and this year we’re going to stick to the standard mojito. So white rum, limes, mint and sparking water will all be on the shopping list.
2. A platter.
The platter is a pretty famous thing in my family and it’s basically just a shortening of ‘cheese platter’. (We’re a clever bunch, really.) Anyway, a standard platter for us is at least three types of cheese, two or more dips, some kind of fancy biscuit to act as a vehicle, carrot and celery sticks, some nuts (hello salted cashews), Red Rock Deli chips (always) and olives. Always olives.
3. A meal that’s easy and sharable.
So I want something that won’t take hours to create and that won’t have me washing dishes for days and nights to follow. And so I’ve decided that we’ll make pizzas this year. I’ve found a recipe for bases you don’t need to rest and we’re going to top them with tomato paste and combinations of salami, ham, olives, roasted pumpkin, goats cheese, mushrooms, spinach, pine nuts and the hero ingredient – CHEESE.
Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.
- One kilo plain flour
- A sprinkle of salt
- A sprinkle of sugar
- Three sachets dried yeast
- 600mls tepid water
Method: Mix the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre, add the water, mix until formed, then kneed, roll and USE.
Just like that.
The best part of this meal is that you can stagger the pizzas according to what’s ready when and chuck them all in the middle of the table for people to graze on as they please.
4. Party props.
Because it wouldn’t be New Year’s without waking up the next morning with a dead glow stick on your arm now, would it? When it comes to party props, I like to go all out. I’m talking sparklers, glow sticks, party poppers, the works. Which leads me to my next point…
5. Something bubbly
Because CELEBRATION. Because new beginnings. And because almost everyone has the day off tomorrow.
Makes for a good night, huh?
So I probably shouldn’t mention that on many occasions, I’m tucked up in bed before the clock strikes 12.
What do you have planned this New Year’s Eve? Mad party? Dinner with friends? And what’s on the menu?
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