Happy New Year!

Honaida Najjar Preparing Appetizers
Honaida Najjar Preparing Appetizers

Happy New Years to all! Here is to a brighter 2012!

We were fortunate to be invited to a New Year’s Eve Party hosted by Sam and Honaida Najjar. As with every Sam/Honaida event, the party was fun and lively. Of course, there was a mountain of food and there were rivers of drinks of all varieties. Here at the right we can see Honaida early in the evening serving an appetizer that consisted of a mixture of olives on top of a tuna-fish salad toast – delicious!

Sam drew on his college years of bartending experience to serve a variety of mixed drinks. Friends brought samples of home brewed beer, especially a really nice porter that I drank several glasses of in the course of the evening.

Tomoko discovers her Mediterranean Roots
Tomoko Discovers her Mediterranean Roots

This being a Lebanese household, there was of course dancing. Sam had a large drum that he acquired (somehow) at a Lebanese wedding. Apparently it was mailed to the United States parcel post from Lebanon with over $200 worth of postage stamps pasted to the package. One of the guests was a rather accomplished belly dancer and was kind enough to give a demonstration. Tomoko was quite inspired and joined in. There is actually a video of Tomoko participating, but I have been forbidden from posting it.

Dave and Tomoko just before Midnight
Dave and Tomoko just before Midnight

Just before midnight, hats and horns were passed out. Actually, guests were supposed to arrive in themed hats. Marshal from Dell Computer arrived in an authentic Afghan hat that he picked up during his tour of duty there in 2003. Several other people had interesting and unique hats as well. Unfortunately, I did not quite get the memo of this point. I am not sure what kind of interesting hat I would have been able to conjure up even if I had known. In any event, our hosts were well prepared and passed out paper party hats for everyone. We all watched the countdown on the television and at midnight we made an incredible racket for several minutes. Note: when making such a racket, it is very helpful to have had a lot to drink before hand. The alcohol makes the noise fun and exciting and diminishes any sensation of discomfort in the ears.

Ryan helps Honaida serve Bananas Foster
Ryan helps Honaida serve Bananas Foster

After midnight, Honaida prepared a delicious Bananas Foster. Desserts involving bananas are tricky for me. They can easily become too slimy for my taste. Honaida’s Bananas Foster was perfect – the bananas were still firm and the flambe brown sugar glaze was just right. The vanilla ice cream was still frozen solid so Ryan stepped in and applied some muscle to the ice cream scooping problem.

All in all, a delightful evening and a wonderful way to start the new year!

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