Well. We have a New Years' Eve tradition of 30+ years' duration. We drive out to our friends' farm, eat ourselves silly, spend the night, wake up, have a great breakfast that must include lox and bagels, eat up some of the leftovers for lunch, and go home, toting leftovers.
In the past, the rituals included communal bathing of tiny kids, entertaining of little kids, and persuading of big kids to join us (uncertain success as they got bigger and bigger). Also, as the years have gone by and we have grown, gasp, older, eating ourselves silly has required less and less food.
So. Last night the two cooks--the husband portion of the other couple and I--had divided the menu up thus: him, appetizers and first course; me, main course and dessert.
For the main course I would make Pappardelle with Lamb Ragout, which I've done before and maybe written about here. For dessert I made Chocolate-Coffee Gingerbread with Hazelnut Poached Pears. My friend produced a yummy pate and marinated mushrooms for appetizers and a delicious seafood stew with aioli-slathered toast for the first course. I was relaxed all afternoon because I knew how simple it was going to be to put the pasta together. And then, as my friend and I walked into the kitchen, where he was going to put the finishing touches on the soup, I heard myself say, "I've done all the prep and I can get the pasta done by the time we're done eating the stew, unless I've forgotten that it has to cook for an hour and a half ha ha ha."
Yes. I had.
After a suitable period of self-flagellation. I allowed my friend to convince me that his stew was very hearty and the pasta would make a dandy lunch, and then we forced the other two to agree with us. Since they're the cleanup squad, they saw an upside in the plan. And after we'd finished the truly hearty stew and eaten a few slathered toasts apiece, we all agreed that this scheme born of stupidity was in fact the beginning of a worthy new tradition, since we were already pretty stuffed and the pasta would almost have been a bridge too far at that point, especially with dessert still lurking in the wings. From now on, appetizers, one course, and dessert for dinner, and another course for lunch.
Then we ate dessert, and it was great. Happy New Year!