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Vin de Pamplemousse

December 30, 2009

It began with a post on the wonderful canning and preserving site, Saving the Season, and quickly grew from a lowkey dinner party into a bit of a monster. Wanting to try our hand at making vin de pamplemousse, A. and I divided the chores in half (fetch the organic grapefruits, track down the Meyer lemons, and somewhere somehow procure two great big jars) and hatched a plan. The recipe promised a fine aperitif just in time for New Year’s Eve, and what better excuse to gather our longstanding friends together than with the lure of a dinner and a mysterious cocktail concoction?

As 2009 draws to a close, the list of things our little group has to toast or bid “farewell and good riddance” has grown long: two weddings, two break-ups (no, not connected to the weddings!), new relationships, good career shifts, some unlucky breaks, home ownership, relocation from city to city to city, things published, things completed, things launched, kids’ first words, trips taken, trips postponed, kittens adopted, cats passed on, and so on.

Closer to home, my own list of things to toast or kick out the door makes me feel like leaning over, resting my palms on my thighs and heaving great breaths to catch up after a long race. And, as the year winds down, I find myself grasping at trite-sounding clichés as I catalogue 2009 and look ahead to what seems to be on the rise.

Which brings me back to the ambitious but ill-starred dinner party. The vin de pamplemousse was bottled today, and although A. and I have downgraded our plans from catering for thirty (a stay-at-home night for A. and her husband; a quietly elegant dinner out for me, a great friend, his partner, and someone who has recently slipped close to my heart), the vin de pamplemousse will indeed make a midnight appearance. 

And then, after-dinner/ pre-midnight cocktails with a gathering of friends, people I’ve known since we were kids, people who’ve seen one another in states of grace and disgrace, dishing out face-punches and tripping on our own faces, sloppy and tidy, in love and solitude, seated at desks and climbing mountains, pretty, ugly, and everything in between.

It’s tough to write about something private and keep it personal while making it universal, and this is something I rarely try to do. Mostly, it comes out sounding sappy and stupid, and at best it turns out slightly cute. Due to a series of events spanning very bad to very good, I haven’t spent New Year’s Eve with my own friends in nearly fifteen years. And so, I am especially looking forward to raising a glass to the arse-end of 2009, and laying a kiss on every one of my friends, who I am sure will be delighted to catch my nasty cold, which seems determined to linger into 2010. Perhaps the vin de pamplemousse will kick it out of my system just in time.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2010 3:44 am

    Happy New Year!

    I wish we could have clinked glasses at the birth of 2010.

    I’d been waiting to hear how the wine turned out. It looks delicious.

    • welltailored permalink*
      January 3, 2010 6:31 pm

      And a happy year to you, too, Miss Tryharder! Although we didn’t toast the arrival of 2010, you can be certain we *will* clink glasses mid-summer when I at last come visit you in NYC.

  2. January 4, 2010 9:14 pm

    Happy New Year, Penpal!

    I look forward to further blog mutual appreciation in 2010!

    Kim xo

    PS — How did the pamplemousse booze turn out? This summer a co-worker made rhubarb gin (or was it vodka … anyways, something that goes with tonic). I have to get my act together in early summer to make it in time for cocktails in July …

    • welltailored permalink*
      January 5, 2010 12:02 pm

      Do it! Summertime cocktails are even more romantic and delicious that winter holiday ones. And, while there is slim chance of me heading to Montreal to toast an occasion with you while the temperature dips and the snow piles up, you can be sure I’ll come raise a glass in person if hot weather and sunshine are on the rise!

  3. January 4, 2010 11:17 pm

    Hey! Happy New Year, penpal!

    Here’s looking forward to further mutual blog appreciation in 2010.

    And do my eyes deceive me or is that an ad on your site? If so, does that mean that you’re on your way to becoming a full-time, paid blogger?!

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