Don't you love, love, love that sense of accomplishment when you get a big project done? Then, you look around at what DIDN'T get done while you were working on the big project and that love gets deflated a bit. That's rather how I feel this morning.
Many years ago, I got a call from another financial planner who needed help on a group major medical case. She didn't do any insurance work and as it happened, the president of the insurance company had at one time lived in Indianapolis and had become a client of the planning firm she worked for. He called their local office to ask who she could call and was given my name. We resolved the issue and became friends. She invited me to join a group of her friends from Jazzercise on their holiday limo trip. I'd Jazzercised for years - wish I still did!!! - and said sure. I joined about 10 other gals on a limo ride to everyone's favorite bars. Jaws would drop when a bunch of gals poured out of the limo wearing their holiday best. We'd always end up at Daddy Jacks. Lots of great memories were made along with lots of great friends. Over the years, we've added gals to the group. And our ringleader, Shelly, has moved to Phoenix. Several years ago, we started having the party at Judy's house. Words are absolutely inadequate to describe her home. Stunning. Beautiful. Classy. She and Carl have done amazing things with it. And, it's always decorated so beautifully for the holidays.
This year, Shelly was going to be in town for a few days in early December. We all e'd around wondering if we should do the limo again and decided the best thing was a pitch-in dinner so everyone could mingle and talk. Besides, we couldn't get fourteen 40 and 50-something women in a limo. Well, ok, we could but it wouldn't be terribly comfy! I volunteered to host the party. Ordinarily, that's not a big deal. This year it was. We were coming off a multi-month home repair and renovation project that we'd still not finished up. All the rooms were painted but very little had been hung on the walls. And, I'd been swamped at the office so hadn't spent much time working on things at the house. Plus, with the drama going on in Cape Cod, we'd just not focused on the house. It was time to get pictures hung, knick-knacks where they belonged, furniture rearranged, the house cleaned and the mountains of paperwork, magazines et al put into a semblance of order. Then, as luck would have it, Steph scheduled me for one of those weeks where you just go from appointment to appointment and are lucky to breathe in between much less take a potty break or return phone calls or emails. How in the world was I going to get my house ready? There was NO way it'd look as good as Judy's. But, it did need to be ready. Lots of elbow grease later, Connie and I had a clean house. The table was set. I was as ready as I could be after taking everything that'd gone on into consideration.
The party went wonderfully. The only hitch was that I overcooked the pork loin. Shelly looked stunning as always. We all had an opportunity to chat. And, an hour after everyone left, Connie and I had the house back in order. The folding chairs were in the attic. The extra candles and other table decorations were put away. The dishes were all washed and put away. The trash was emptied. We collapsed.
Then, this morning I signed on to the office and downloaded email. And, looked at my to-do list. And, the sense of accomplishment at having my house in order paled a bit when I realized how much work I've got to do this weekend to get ready for next week... So, that's my tale of success and woe for this morning. As you can see, instead of digging into the email, I decided to blog a bit and put off the other for just a bit. When everyone signed up for dishes to bring, I only saw one appetizer on the list. One of the recipes we've tested for our big party in January is a vodka poached shrimp with bloody mary cocktail sauce. I had a bag of shrimp in the freezer so I whipped up the cocktail sauce and poached the shrimp. By the time I thought to take a photo, it'd almost been inhaled...
Vodka Poached Shrimp with Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce
for the shrimp:
1/2 c vodka
2 T lemon juice
2 t salt
2 t black peppercorns
24 peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp with tails
for the sauce:
1 c ketchup
1/2 c chili sauce
3 T horseradish
1 T vodka
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t hot sauce
1/4 t celery salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
Mix all the sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. Poach the thawed shrimp for 2-3 minutes. Drain and chill for an hour before serving.
adapted from Coastal Living
Now, here are some photos of last night:
the table ready to go
Pangga is the other photographer of the group
Vicki and Dee
There's Shelly on the right
Trying to get ready for Connie to take THE photo.
THE photo. I'll put this one on my Facebook page :-)
Annie patiently waiting in the hall for dinner to be over. She knows she's not allowed in a room where food is being prepared or eaten.
Gift exchange time. My bottle of wine got stolen three times and wound up with Pangga. Shelly's Santa met the same fate. Most everything else got stolen once or twice. And, we all had a great time.