Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve... Italian Style

Our Italian friend Giliola who had us over for tea on Christmas day invited us for a New Years Eve party!  She and her husband Antonio had two other couples over along with our family.  All I can say in hindsight is, Wow... and also, I'm still feeling full!

Everybody was very understanding and we made it through about four and a half hours of  "semi" conversation.  We were served food constantly and we all tried lots of new things...even Zoe, although she drew the line at the pigs feet (nope, I'm not kidding!)   Here is a rundown or our gastronomic spectacle...

We arrived at about 8PM for dinner (!) There were light hors d'oeuvres being served of chips, popcorn, crackers  etc. We all gathered around the table and then the food started coming...

  1. Antipasti:  Olives, Mushrooms, Eggplant, Artichoke hearts, Mozzarella and salami.  Small amounts of all of these items - all were delicious even the eggplant (and if you know me well... enough said!)
  2. Pasta Fagiola:  We thought this was the pasta course, but I think it was a sort of soup course.  Small pasta noodles some beans.  Super yummy.
  3. Surprise!  More pasta:  This course was a yummy fettucini with porcini mushrooms, tomatoes and something that gave it a little bit of a spicy kick.
  4. At home I would have said that was great and figured dinner was over but noooo.  Next came the Meat course:  Plates filled with sausages, chicken and ribs.  Again, normally I would have enjoyed a lot of this course... but I was already pretty full!  I took small pieces of each type of meat and enjoyed it very much. 
  5. Salad was served with our meat course.  It was nice to have a slightly lighter fare!
  6. Next... wait for it... Lentils and Pigs feet.  I happen to like lentils, and I did try the Pigs feet (it didn't actually resemble a pigs foot)  It was not bad, but remember I was already so full I though I might burst.  In Italy lentils are eaten as a symbol of good luck and prosperity because they resemble tiny coins... I'm not exactly sure how the pigs feet fit in - I'll need to look that one up!
  7. Next came the fruit:  Ok... the Mandarin oranges here are to die for, and Giliola has a Kiwi tree in her yard.  As full as we all were, we all ate some amazing fresh fruit
  8. Last, but not least was a plate of dolce that Giliola had made herself.  Wonderful cakes and cookies that were not just Italian, but also Belgian because Giliola and her husband are originally from Belgium.  
  9. Zoe went on to top everything off with some gelato... 
An assortment of Dolce to top us all off!
Did you say gelato?  Sure, why not!
As with all meals there was wine served and champagne at midnight.  After the toast Giliola offered me some Grand Marnier which absolutely made my chest catch fire... yuck!  Weirdest of all was an alcoholic drink that we were offered in a very small glass that they kept calling marijuana!  WHAT?  Is that even possible??  I will have to look that up as well.  

The evening ended with Zoe getting to hold their new puppy (only a few weeks old) named Balloo.  Such a cute fat little puppy!  It was a truly special evening.  We fell so blessed that people invited us into their lives to celebrate the new year.  God is good.
Zoe and baby Balloo


  1. amazing description of a unforgettable New Year's Eve! Thanks for sharing!! Happy New Year!!

  2. I guess the lentils are the equivalent of the southern tradition of black-eyed peas for the new year. I grew up with black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice served with collard greens (symbolizing dollars $$).
    Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for sharing your Italian New Year's expereince. I was feeling full just from reading this entry!