A Late New Years Post

So it’s a new year.  Wow, where did the old one go?  Anybody?

As I was saying yesterday, I spent new years eve out-of-town for the first time in years.  I went with some friends of mine up to Birch Bay, WA. to stay a couple of days at the family’s condo.  Now I personally have not been to the condo in almost 8 years.  So this was a treat to stay on the beach.  My friends also have a time share there so there was plenty of space for all of us.

I generally don’t even go out for new years.  It’s not that I don’t like it, I just like smaller events these days.  So last night the six of us crossed the street to the beach and participated in the 5th annual Birch Bay Ring of Fire & Hope.

Ring of Fire & Hope, Birch Bay

Ring of Fire & Hope, Birch Bay

They take flares and place them in the ground and light them all along the beach from one end of the bay to the other.  The bay is a large U shaped beach that is several miles long and this is an incredible view.  It is a moment of reflection for the past and the future.  As I stood there looking across the bay I wondered what that ring must look like from out at sea.  There were also paper lanterns that stood several feet tall and were lifted into the air by fire like a hot-air balloon. I’m 6’2″ and to see this large paper lantern float into the sky till was a speck smaller than a grain of rice was mind boggling. 

Ring of Fire & Hope Pan

Ring of Fire & Hope Pan

After that we went back to the unit were decided to have dinner at and sipped exotic scotch’s and wines and champagne while out master griller prepared the most tender rib eye.  It was so tender it melted in your mouth like butter.  It had to be at least 1″ 1/2 thick and perfectly medium rare.  Add to that a nice backed potato and a green salad and dinner was superb.

However if that was not enough, desert was the true  piece de resistance.  Our good friend and one of my cooking mentors, made not one but two sinfully decadent treats for us.  The first a homemade chocolate mouse made with rum that I will tell you about in a moment.  This was topped with heavy whipped cream made with pure vanilla and topped with a piece of dark chocolate to offset the sweet.  As you can see the visual was stunning.  Numm.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

The second a lemoncello cream.  Now this I am not as familiar with.  I have only just last discovered lemoncello.

The wiki page for lemoncello says  ‘This is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula and the coast of Amalfi and islands of Procida, Ischia and Capri. Traditionally,  It is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento lemons or Sfusato Lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in grain alcohol until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup.’

So image this sweet yet tart liquor over a rich cream with a homemade lemon cube on the bottom.  Oh man I had WAY too much last night.  And that was to eat!

Lemoncello

Lemoncello

You want to talk about drinking?  Ok, we had several different things to try, we all had a wine or champagne or scotch or…  you get the idea. 🙂  Our wonderful hosts had picked something special out for each of us.  They even made a batch of spiced rum.  I have never had homemade spiced run.  Wow.  This batch was experimental and was done with a holiday blend of tea.  It was interesting.  I look forward to doing some experimental cooking with it. I do not drink wine as a general rule, I really do not care for the bitter nature of it.  I have in recent years found that not all wines are created equal and I was pleased when our host a had a sweet wine for me to try.  I was very good.  The rest is coming home for me to cook with.

A great time was had by and I must say I have not so much fun is a very long time. We ate, drank and were merry, just not too excess.  No, that was for the 3 mile walk this morning to combat it all before I take the polar bear plunge in the bay (pictures to follow).  Have a great New Years everyone!

Divider Bar

Passenger’s Note:  The was originally written on New Years day, but due to some network burps and my general laziness its only now getting posted.  Thank you for your support.

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