Yesterday was New Year’s Eve, which is spent very differently here from in Japan. Here I guess the majority of people would spend it having a party with friends or families, or with their girlfriends or boyfriends I suppose. (In Japan you would be cleaning and cooking like mad at home – exhausting just thinking about it, (although of course things are changing and many people would now go away or just buy in their New Year food these days.) Since we left Japan we didn’t have any families nearby so we spent most of the New Year’s Eves on our own although we have an odd one or two that we were with friends like the year before last year in Thailand. Yesterday, we were at my husband’s brother’s, he and his wife invited us to stay with them. It’s just an hour and a half from us so we can visit each other easily.
When we arrived we had tea with homemade mince pies- I’ve found that I don’t like any store-bought ones.
The table was looking lovely and Christmassy.
Before dinner we first had sparkling wine (the one we gave them for Christmas, a local Sussex wine) and some nibbles, which were phyllo pastry filled with fig and Stilton, very nice
The dinner was Mary Berry’s Beef Stew – which had celeriac and was seasoned with horseradish and some other spices. A bit unusual but very nice. Although I’ve bought celeriac before for a salad I couldn’t use it up all, so it’s a good idea to use it in a stew like this.
Side dishes were potato Dauphinois (I think with only milk, no cream, so it was quite light), and broccoli.
And the dessert was Waitrose’s Mincemeat, cranberry and almond Eve’s pudding. It smelled like mulled wine somehow. Very nice. (The recipe is fromWaitrose website but it was homemade.)
We then played a game, “Frustration!”
Then watched TV waiting for the New Year to come in, said “Happy New Year” and went to bed! We had a lovely evening.