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Turns out staying up until 3:30 a.m., after eating a huge feast and standing outside in the cold for an hour with your neck craned will decimate you nearly as much as if you were drunk while doing it. At least if you are 29, like me. Even though I've been in training all of vacation for the staying up until 3 a.m. part of New Year's Eve, today was pretty much a complete wash.

The teenager blew us off last night, so we were only 15, but man, the 5 kids (2 of whom were ours) made it feel as if there were double that many in the house and I don't mean twice five. Anders completely outdid himself, spending literally 2 full days in the kitchen preparing the meal. We started with Southern European appetizers to welcome our guests: dried ham (somewhat like prosciutto) and spicy sausages, small squares of parmesan with balsamic vinegar, and a veggie & dip tray. A few hours later we sat down to the actual dinner. The first course was a tapas menu which included marinated artichoke hearts, shrimp in a spicy sauce, mini-quiches with corn & red pepper, chorizo-in-a-blankets, roasted peppers, and marinated mushrooms.

The 2nd course was pork roast filet in a Chinese marinade, served over roasted red onion and zucchini, couscous with a spicy yogurt sauce, and dessert was two homemade "ice cream bombs": Anders made 2 3-layer parfaits with a core of almond ice cream, a middle layer of raspberry ice cream and a cover of apple ice cream. These were then decorated with sliced star fruit and carried to the table with "cake fireworks" blazing away in both glassbombs. The firecrackers were like sparklers on steroids, I've never seen anything like it and everyone was very impressed! It wasn't lost on the male guests that the ice cream colors matched those of the Ducati logo. :D

The best part of the evening was, as always, trooping outside into the frosty air, armed with firecracker bombs and rockets, carrying champagne bottles and plastic cups and everyone excited as small children. This year we walked up to the front of our neighborhood and climbed the hill there, where we had a fantastic view of the entire village, plus the next village over. Fireworks were already exploding all around us 10 minutes to midnight and we cheered every time a big one boomed overhead. The kids had packets of sparklers and for awhile they kept me so busy lighting them in rapid succession and handing them round that I didn't have time to watch the show going on in the sky.

The coolest thing was a new kind of "silent fireworks" that Mikael & Lene had brought. They heard about them in Thailand, where they're called khom loy or sky lanterns and they're used in many festival of lights all year round. None of us had ever seen them before and they were mesmerizing. The kids each helped to release one, in turn, and we all stood and watched them floating up, high into the midnight sky, over the fields and away, their tiny flames visible from many kilometers overhead. It's considered good luck to release a sky lantern and a way to send your problems and worries floating away. We sent 2008 up with ours and gazed silently, heads tilted back, as it soared higher and higher, and finally vanished from view.

Cakery Bakery, Cookery Bookery Biscuity Cookie Birthday Wishes to ozswede!
mood: tired
music: Shawn Colvin—When the Rainbow Comes


Björn and I were also touched by the floating lanterns. Björn found a website where it tells how to make something similar although much much smaller in the kitchen from teabags.

We decided to send up a couple of them at our wedding. All symbolic, you know.

Mikael and Lene saw them at a wedding on Gotland where the guests and wedding party released over a hundred of them out over the ocean. Magical!!


What a great celebration! The sky lanterns look bigger than I expected. I'd love to see those go up! Happy New Year to all! Love, Lizardmom

I think they come in different sizes, but this one seems to be the most common. They were SO cool!!

sounds like a great celebration complete with a feast and a gorgeous show!
happy new year!

Happy new year to you, too! :)

Man, I'm inviting myself to your place for NYE next year...or is that this year? What a magnificent feast!

I just love those sky lanterns. Must google a little and read more about them. The idea of silent fireworks appeals to an old person like me.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. We had a quiet day home, with Lambi making sure I was well looked after.

Hope 2009 is a wonderful year for you and the family.

Edited at 2009-01-02 01:44 pm (UTC)

I'm glad you had a nice birthday :) The sky lanterns were SO cool. I would love to see a whole bunch of them at once on a summer evening.

Happy New Year to you. Hope 2009 is full of great things!
Those sky lanterns have caused more than a few UFO flaps as they floated over parts distant :) Maybe you made someone's night as they were out walking the dog and happened to look up:)

They went really high really fast, and were soon out of sight, and plus being New Year's Eve there was lots of light up in the sky :)

Those lanterns look like they'd float up and away on their own volition. What a perfect way to mark time.

They do! They're wonderful. You can hold on to them, but you can feel them tugging :)

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