Just as soon as the Deans got our freezers filled we looked around the house to see what else we could get done before the masses descend on us. The freezer was groaning but what about the pantry? Its gaping maw was crying out to be filled with succulent and savory treats for the holidays. Unto the shelves and into the fridge we piled exotic hard cheeses to be cubed, tasty olives, pistachios, dried apricots, whole dried salamis, plus some prosciutto and Bresaola for good measure, candied orange peel, and Jordan almonds for by the door.
We both like a round platter and on to it we pile wooden, crystal and bronze bowls filled with the items from our now stocked pantry. Anyone can drop by anytime and we will be 100% ready.
Into the tiny bit of space we have left in the freezer we are going to fill small round balloons with water so that we have bespoke ice cubes to take our holiday cocktails over the top. Between the cocktails and our samovar of savories our houses will once again be everyone’s go to favorites.
- Fill a water balloon slightly less than the circumference of your cocktail glass. Twist a long thin piece of aluminum foil into a ring. Rest the balloon within the nest the ring has created. The ring prevents the balloons getting a flat side and keeps them orbicular while freezing. Put the filled balloons, and his many brothers, into the freezer the day before the party. Plan on one per glass.
- At party time, cut the top of the balloon and peel the rubber off the ice. If the sphere is too big to fit into the glass, simply run under hot water until the ice shrinks a bit.