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Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Eve Event

I write this Christmas Eve recap from the comfort of my bed with 24 hours of A Christmas Story playing in the background.  Life is good.

I didn't know what to expect for my first NYC Xmas (usually I am with my fam, either skiing or in Savannah/Hilton Head), and I was a tad nervous to be left in New York while everyone else went home.  Thankfully, not everyone fled the city because Wendy had a nice little group of us over to her house for Christmas Eve dinner.

While waiting for the other guests to arrive, we worked on the apps and drinks: pigs in a blanket, spinach artichoke dip, hot spiced cider with rum, and eggnog.  Apparently, Sam doesn't own a watch because he arrived an hour and a half late.  Anger melted away, however, once I saw that he came bearing gifts.  How nice to bring me a present!...until I opened it and realized I had just been ICED.  Allow me to take the time to explain this little game to my Mommy who is likely reading this and scratching her head.  Surprise someone with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice and they have to get down on one knee and chug - the more creative you when Icing someone, the better.  I didn't expect to be Iced at Xmas Eve dinner, so I was certainly taken aback.  I applaud you, Sam.

Once everyone had arrived, it was time for the main course.  Inspired by the Feast of Seven Fishes, Wendy prepared shrimp fra diavlo with the perfect amount of spice.  Then it was my turn.  When I asked Wendy what I could bring, she said I could take care of the dessert.  Now, most desserts require baking - not my strength - so I had to figure out how to make something sweet that I wouldn't ruin.  I landed on chocolate bark, a no-bake treat.  I made two different types: candycane and marshmallows (very festive) and cashews and craisins.  I managed to make a dessert and not screw it up!  It was a Christmas miracle!

After a game of charades, it was time to leave the apartment, so at 12:45 we headed to Pine Tree Lodge.  I have never heard of this place, which is a shame because it's great.  It feels way more East Village than its Murray Hill location.  Tucked away on 35th between 1st and 2nd, it is hard to believe you're in the same zipcode as Tonic, Joshua Tree, and those other Murray Hill bars.  The only downside is the bathroom situation.  There is only one and it is small and smelly.  Other than that, no complaints from me.  You feel like you're in a deer stand while waiting for a drink.  With life jackets swung over deer heads, it's the perfect place for lumberjacks with a sense of humor and with all the red plaid, it was the perfect place to celebrate Xmas.

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