There are a few problems with hosting an office holiday party in a place like Moscow. The first is that the office is likely to be huge. We had about 100 people in our house to celebrate with us last weekend - agents and engineers and Marines and all of the rest of them, along with spouses and children.
It was insane. I cooked for days.
The second problem I can think of is that, in a place like Moscow, not everyone is eager to be featured on social media sites. So I didn't take too many pictures of our guests. But I can assure you there were a lot of them. There were people on all three floors of our house, many of whom I'd never even met before.
And the third problem is that you can't just say to yourself, "oh, that looks good, I'll bake some of those!" Because you may find, as I did, that even after trips to the outdoor markets and 5 separate grocery stores, you still can't find things like blue cheese, or puff pastry.
And so I ended up with 200 toasted walnut halves but no filling to stuff them. I made something up, involving cream cheese and honey mustard and other random ingredients fired into the food processor until it tasted good. I bought the wrong kind of pastry (non-puff), so my cheddar tarts and baked brie were out. I still have a wheel of brie in the fridge (purchased at store #4), so maybe that will be breakfast one day soon. I have a bit of a brie addiction, so it doesn't live long in our house.
I made peppermint cookie bark and macadamia sea salt fudge and sugar cookies. Chocolate cinnamon butter cookies, gingerbread snowmen and walnut dream cookies. 7-layer bars and fruit sushi - frushi, if you will. And I was nowhere near finished. Hummus and dips and cheese trays and caramel corn and carpal tunnel in my fingers and so on.
Plus many of our guests brought treats. I thought the table might collapse under the weight of it all. There was an impromptu cheesecake contest to determine who'd brought the best one. There were gallons of cider and mulled wine at the beginning, all gone within 2 hours. I can't even count how many kilos of vegetables I bought, hauled home and then chopped for the veggie platters.
It was insane.
Here's the thing. (And don't tell Bart I said this, because I can't admit it it him, or I'll lose some of my long-suffering spouse points.)
It was also kind of fun.
No pictures of the guests. But here are some before pictures of the food. Doesn't this make you so hungry?
|Those stuffed walnuts on the left almost made me cry.|
|Peppermint cookie bark is the most delicious thing on the face of the planet.|
|Mini chocolate mousses (mice? meese?)|
|Caramel corn yum want more now.|
|The fabulous host and hostess.|