solstice in SOBO

We had our Second Annual SOBO Progressive Dinner last night.  Last year, two of us (not me!) were pregnant and we had so. much. food.  Let me tell you about all the food we had last year.  I think every person thought they were they only household having a party.  We started with appetizers at my house, and soup and salad at Rebecca's and then HAM...WITH SIDE DISHES at Jean and Paul's and then dessert at Tyler and Catherine's.  It was a bit much.

Who needs food when you can have all appetizers?  We started at our house again.  Callum insisted.  Two different drinks.  Pomegranate Martinis and our own family concoction, the Tidewater Tini (recipes follow the post).  Fried Greek Cheese, some olives, and a Brie en Croute with figs and walnuts.

I teased Neel that he kept refilling our glasses like a waitress at Shoney's with the iced tea pitcher.  He pointed out that no one was saying, "No thanks, I'm good." 

I am not too embarrassed to say that I was too busy eating Hot Wing Dip at Jean and Paul's take pictures of it, but their tree is beautiful, as is their newly painted dining room.  Callum sang for us and played with the kids, but all the pictures of that were too personal to share in this forum.

On to Rebecca's where we insisted she make us her She Crab soup again this year and she surprised us with ham biscuits, oh joy! 

It's a pretty amazing soup that starts with sherry in the bottom of the mug and finishes with Worchestershire and Old Bay, and drinking it out of a mug was divine.  I've already put in a request for lunch left-overs, but she seems to be avoiding me...

Top it off with a champagne cordial, and we head to Tyler and Catherine's for dessert.

Oh God, I love Catherine's Strawberry Trifle.  The thing that was so fun about this evening is that everybody made the thing that we love them to make.  For us it was the fried Greek cheese.  For Jean and Paul the Hot Wing Dip.  Rebecca's She Crab Coup and finally Catherine's Trifle.  (Catherine put her foot down at Dorito Salad, so we let her handle dessert.)  I'm sure for those of us doing the cooking, it's a little like Jimmy Buffet singing Margaritaville, but what a gift to know people so well that they have favorite recipes and they'll make them for you.  Maybe next year we'll branch out, but this was very nice indeed.

Her surprise treat was this Champagne drinkie, complete with pineapple sherbet.  Oh, deliciousness!  I'm already thinking New Year's...

It was a wonderful night, made more special by the fact that my dad had arrived in time to join in the fun.  Merry, merry Christmas my neighbor family.  You've brought so much light to my life, and being with you lit the darkest night of the year.

There are about a gillion pomegranate martini recipes gracing the internet these days (Thanks Al Gore!), but the Tidewater Tini is our very own.  We tend to just glug in the vodka and other ingredients to taste, but I will endeavor to make some sense of it here for you.  Enjoy!

1 oz vanilla vodka
2 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz triple sec. 
mix with ice in a martini shaker and strain into a glass...garnish with a lemon peel or maraschino cherry.