New Year’s Pavlova

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On New Year’s Eve, I cooked for some friends and realized that dessert needed to be on the lighter end of things, because who wants to go out to New Year’s parties feeling all weighed down with chocolate and butter, etc. etc.? That’s how I came up with Pavlova, something that I’d only really made once before (actually twice) but never served to guests because it always seemed so delicate and ephemeral and kind of risky. But a risky dessert on New Year’s Eve is a good way to kick off the new year: taking chances, living on the edge, whipping egg whites. So I got to work.

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Party Food

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Quick, rank the following from least important to most important, on the subject of “what makes a good New Year’s party”: a. food; b. music; c. decorations/lighting.

Many of us food lovers would like to believe that music and decorations rank less than food when it comes to a happy New Year’s eve, but now that I am the survivor of my very own New Year’s party–one that lasted into the wee hours and alienated us from our upstairs neighbors–I can say, with great confidence, the ranking goes like this: food is the least important, decorations matter more and music matters the most. (Actually, alcohol matters the most; but we’ll get to that later.)

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A New Year’s Feast

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If Molly Orangette invites you over for New Year’s dinner, you don’t say no. You say “yes” as fast as you can and hope she doesn’t change her mind. I had to explain this to Craig who wanted to go but had “plans” with “friends” he’s known “forever” and he “promised” them he’d spend “New Year’s” with them, but I quickly disabused him of his faulty logic: friends are friends, sure, but friends are nothing next to a dinner prepared by Molly. Plus Molly was our friend. And she was cooking us dinner. She and her husband, Brandon. Cooking us dinner. Us. Dinner. What didn’t he get?

Craig saw the light and told his friends he’d see them later that night–a plan that actually never came to fruition. Not because Craig flaked out or because Molly held us hostage; that night Craig came down with a terrible flu that he’s still battling. Did his friends put a curse on him? Perhaps. But this is the story of the last meal he ate in good health. And what a meal it was.

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