Friday, December 09, 2011

Joy to the World, but Mostly to Me

Because I love Christmas
and Joy 
and Fun 
and Bite-Sized Foods, 
every year, I throw a holiday party. 

I ask guests to bring unwrapped toys, which get delivered to the San Francisco Fire Department's Annual Toy Drive post-party.

The thought of kids getting these toys simultaneously breaks and warms my heart. It feels like the least, the very least, that I can do in a season when I’m so continually reminded of how incredibly lucky I am, and how grateful I am (and should be) for everything in my life. 

Sigh. I've really got to start volunteering again. It's time. Well past, actually.

Anyway, that’s how the holiday party works. I invite friends over. I feed them and ply them with drinks. And in exchange, they bring toys. Lots and lots of toys.

I think it’s a pretty good deal.

Especially for me. It's possible that nothing makes me happier than feeding a big bunch of my favorite people. I'd be lying if I said this was a purely altruistic endeavor. 

Kate's "2011 Ploy to Meet a Firefighter" Holiday Party Menu
Nuts, Olives, Spiced Chickpeas (The chickpeas were an experiment and a fail. Oh well.)
Spicy Spinach Dip & Crudites & Crackers
Christmas Torta & Crackers (Torta = layered goat cheese, pesto, pureed sun-dried tomato)
Spicy Chicken Tortilla Cups (This empanada filling, in Tostitos Scoops, with melted pepperjack on top)

Peanut Butter & Ganache Cookies (except instead of the "fudge", I did a basic ganache)
Meyer Lemon Bars (Recipe forthcoming in another post, I promise)

Spiced Cider + Rum
Wine, Beer, Pellegrino

Of course, I didn't take pictures of any of the food. I totally forgot. Britta, thankfully, remembered and snapped a few shots of the party. 

It's a sign of a good party when I have to refresh the tray of clean wineglasses. Twice.


This party is always a great excuse to wear my grandmother's Christmas apron. Also, the pockets are super handy. 

Cocktail napkins that say funny things are sort of a family tradition. This started when my mom found some that said "I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks left." (It was the early 1980s.) Oh man, the old people laughed and laughed and laughed about those. I love these cocktail napkins but my favorite ones are actually from last year. They say "Merry Christmas to all my friends...except two." 

I need to drop the toys off at the fire station tomorrow. It will look a little sad to not have them all piled up under the tree. The big joke here is that the toy collection is merely a ploy on my part to meet a firefighter. 

Miracle on California Street?


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