Over the weekend we hosted our annual Friendsmas celebration. This was the fifth year, which feels kind of momentous and also crazy! I mean, I mostly feel too young and flighty to have created any longstanding traditions of our own, but it's fun to have a jubilant marker to jumpstart a season of holiday festivity.
Through the years I've better learned what works, gradually refining (read: simplifying) our holiday party process. Basically this means including a hearty supply of libations and a small assortment of easy grab-and-go savory and decadent confections. Gone are the days of failed attempts at gourmet eats. I have wholly accepted my culinary limitations, which translates to unashamedly arranging a mix of store bought pastries on pretty vintage dishes, plus whatever uncomplicated apps I feel adept enough to tackle.
Even so, the biggest advice I can provide is to give the people want they want. And what they want is cheese. That's right, you heard it here, you can literally forgo all other recipes in favor of focusing on providing a BA cheese and charcuterie tray and your guests will be happy. (That is until the following morning when they wake with dreaded cheese gut from over consuming said cheese, but worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.)
Aim to provide a mix of hard and soft cheeses, prosciutto and various salamis, fresh and dried fruits, nuts and even tasty sweets like cocoa dusted truffles. Then ideally enlist your friend Bethany to beautifully cram it all together in an aesthetically appealing fashion. She's the babe in the blue dress.
It also helps if you're friend Kyle is a Certified Cheese Professional and can steer you in the direction of an eclectic assortment, plus wax poetic, unchallenged, about it because no one else knows as much about cheese as he.
If you're wondering, yes, that is a baby bump swathed tightly in sequins. I've mostly kept quiet on all the internet fronts, but Luke and I are thrilled about the little bebe joining the party next year.
Friendsmas wouldn't be complete without our Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long. Five years ago it was pretty spontaneous, a room full of musicians and singers seemed to necessitate some form of caroling. Since then it's become an integral part of the evening's revelry, growing slightly more polished each season.
We sang some Christmas standards, as well as an original Luke and I wrote a couple years back. Next year we might even make a proper recording of it (mistletoes crossed!)
For now, here's wishing you a holiday season full of merriment and cheer.