For the past few years, I have spent New Year's with a group of friends that includes R&R and Amazing Goddaughter, Officer K, Chef Denise and JB, and S&J. We are a tight group, we travel together, spend lovely weekends out at the Farm, and generally get up to all sorts of fabulous mischief.
Since Chef Denise and Officer K are ususally working on NYE, and the rest of us are not particularly into being out and about on amateur night, we save our serious celebrating for the 1st. This has proven particularly useful since it allows Charming Suitor and I to do something else for NYE, and not miss out on my existing tradition! Last year, CS and I spent NYE at a lovely small dinner party thrown by his very grand friends, Hostess with the Mostest and Big J. They entertain a great deal, and we are always delighted to be in the mix, fun food, good wine, much laughter. Even though I was a little nervous last year, since CS and I were barely a month into our romance, they made me most welcome and it was a very joyous way to welcome the new year.
Now they are my friends too, and are an excellent addition to the crew, as with all of CS's pals, who are slowly becoming one large gaggle of fun as they get to know my gang! One of the really amazing things about CS is that his friends are all the kinds of people that if I had met them without him, I would have wanted them for my friends regardless. And all of our extended peeps are playing very nicely together, which makes gatherings that much more fun!
This year, CS and I are laying low on NYE, just the two of us and a really nice bottle of bubbly, because on NYD we have invited the slightly expanded gang over (in their pajamas) for a day of football and board games and hearty "day after the night before" food, like chili and my famous mac n cheese.
At one of their recent dinner parties, the Hostess with the Mostess made this fantastic dip, which she got from a pal of hers a while back, called Sweet Pea Guacamole. This made me very happy, since as we know, I am not a big fan of the avocado. I loved the freshness of the dip, and the fact that it is a good healthy option on tables that may be laden with just a wee bit too much bad-for-you fare. I will not share the details of this particular party, other than 10 alleged grown-ups spent several hours laughing till we wept, eating and drinking outrageously, a platinum bob wig was involved (mostly for the guys), two couples lost their cars, and one gent spectacularly broke his nose without ever stopping laughing. Who says we can't party anymore!?
HWTM graciously shared with me, so I am sharing with you. I have also shared the ways that I tweaked it the tiniest bit for my palate in parens, so feel free to adjust for your own taste. Bring it to your own NYD party!
Sweet Pea Guacamole
2 (to 6) T olive oil
2 T fresh lime juice
¼ bunch cilantro, large stems removed (I automatically use flat leaf parsely here because I think cilantro tastes like soap, but hers was mild enough that I didn't care)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (I add half at a time, just in case I get a really hot one, since I am a spice wuss)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 lb frozen petite peas, thawed
½ tsp each dried oregano, ground cumin
½ to ¾ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper and hot sauce to taste
¼ medium red onion, finely minced
You can toss the minced onion in the lime juice and let sit for ten minutes before making this recipe, or you can substitute shallot or scallions for a milder flavor, if you want to temper some of the raw onion bite, otherwise just leave it. If you do, drain the lime juice into your food processor, reserving the onion, (or just put the lime juice directly in the bowl), and add the olive oil, cilantro (or parsley), jalapeno and garlic pulsing until mostly pureed. Add peas, spices and salt, blend until smooth. If you prefer a more velvety texture, add another 2-4 T olive oil while the blade is running. Adjust seasonings. Stir in reserved onion by hand.
Yours in Good Taste,