Kim's Christmahanukwanza-New Year's Party

First of all to everyone:

May your new year be filled with good food, good memories, and lots of happiness. Just don’t drink too much folks or you’re greeted with one ugly hangover…

Ok, the party. The title’s really based on that idea of a fusion of all those holidays, since (as you read on) Kim’s celebrating a belated Christmas and all the holidays that has or will be taking place within a day or less (depending upon when you’re reading this).

This party took place in Kim’s home in Long Beach. The problem is that I’m a city girl and I never took the LIRR train my entire life! I took the subway and bus countless times but the train? I’m totally lost. Some issues getting there: the bus from my house to the Jamaica station took 20 minutes to arrive and I was actually getting paranoid being late! Just because the train arrives only once every hour. I constantly kept looking at my watch whenever the driver makes a stop and I kept thinking “Keep driving! Keep driving, dammit!” So yeah, my nerves were really getting fried.

When I finally arrived to the station and actually took a deep breath and mentally prepared myself that everything’s going to be fine. I bought a roundtrip off-peak ticket to Long Beach and waited for the next train to arrive…and that was 50 minutes. Oy. So I went to the track where my train’s supposed to be located at and looked around if anyone I knew is there. I didn’t see anyone, and out of bordem/panic, I called the hostess, Kim. She told me on the phone that I’m supposed to see 2 people. However, I’m lingering around like a fool wondering where the hell are they? What I did to kill some time, I just took photos of the station. Somehow the steel beams and arches appeal to me, I don’t know why…
Finally, within 5 minutes before the train arrived, I saw Dave on the platform. I just remembered his face and just said, “Hi” but I forgot his name. (I’m not really good with names with people who I don’t see so often; sorry). Anyways, we rode the train that take us to Long Beach and it wasn’t so bad. It’s so much cleaner than the subways, it’s above the ground, and the ride wasn’t so painfully long as I thought it would be.

Once we arrived to Long Beach, we got picked up by Kim and her significant other, Matt, and they drove us to their lovely home. We found out on the car ride that we’re the only ones who were on time. *sighs* In ways, this wasn’t surprising yet I felt a bit peeved but I got over it once I saw the food! Yes; I was hungry and it was about 1:30 P.M. and I ate breakfast at 6 AM.

Kim granted us permission to nosh on her hors d’oeuvers (appetizers). Take a look below:

These shrimp disappeared fairly quickly…most of the latecomers missed out on this

The “salami”…Kim wanted salami but she ended up using sliced pepperoni.
It’s all good since it’s pork.

Also, another friend of her’s that we knew mutually was Eno.

She greeted me with her camera…

I found out that she stayed overnight to give a helping hand to Kim. I’m so proud of Kim and Eno because Kim taught Eno how to cook! Hopefully, Eno remembered a few things and actually cook for herself. I also found out that Eno, Kim and Matt stayed up to 4 AM to finish off the cooking. I just felt terrible for them. So, the problems of late guests kept rolling in…one group was about an hour to 1 1/2 hours late and another was two hours late . But we still kept noshing on the appetizers that she set out and laughing at every phone call, especially the extremely late group’s calls, since Kim put it on speaker phone. I haven’t laughed that hard for a long time.

The latecomers eventually came in about 2 hours… I’m hesitant about putting the latecomers faces on this post just because I don’t want to but this section as a “late comers section of shame.” So, let’s go to the funnier stuff and yes, the food will come in a bit later. Ok?

As all the guests finally arrived and got settled in, Kim started to take photos and film us on her video camera. She wanted everyone to stand up and sing “Kumbaya.” She mentioned that she wanted everyone to sing that song earlier before most of the guests arrived, and all of us thought she was joking. The one who really repulsed by this was her boyfriend, Matt. As you can see in his expression:

Eventually he caved in, since he was pressured by Kim and the video camera she’s holding. He just sang the chorus line of “Kumbaya” in a different note. But hey, bravo for doing it since everyone else didn’t have the guts to sing it. After that crazy phase, Kim made everyone to do some kind of dance in order to get our food. Since no one wanted to dance, only a few people started to do their own “dance” moves by doing some kind of arm movement that was very odd and hilarious. Just look below.

e’s doing his thing…

while Gippy’s doing her’s

Man. I wanted to drop on the floor and die of laughter! But I forgotten all about that once Kim just gave up on us and let us have food! So we’ve been served with…

Kim’s Stewed Chicken

Matt’s Stir-fried Beef and Vegetables – I liked that one the most (sorry, Kim!)

Kim’s Marcaroni Pie

Kim’s Couscous

My plate of food :)

Once I sat down with my food; I just took random photos of people eating. I just like seeing people’s faces when their starved and forced to ‘dance’ for their food. That sounds evil, doesn’t it?

Gippy’s posing with her food

Shirley’s eating up and talking…

On the photo above, I just found out that she’s a vegetarian, when Kim told Shirley along the lines of “it’s a good time to eat meat” or something related to that. So, the thought just came flooding my mind was Amateur Gourmet’s video about converting his vegetarian friend to a meat eater; seen here.

Moving on… after we ate, Kim gave out presents to everyone. All’s happy and giddy with them. I would post more photos, but this is a food blog; just go toward the end and you’ll see a link for more photos. After that, we all got our coats on and have a walk to the beach! Yay! We’re walking out in 30-something degrees weather and it’s breezy too! Woo hoo…! Well, the chilly part isn’t so bad. I just started to tear up a bit (because it’s cold and breezy) after standing out for 5 minutes. I tried to take photos in the near dark setting; it didn’t come out too well. But it looks interesting and something similar to De Chirico’s paintings: the use of shadows and the playing of light…if you studied Art History, you know what I mean.

Example #1
Not exactly a De Chirico’s…but it’s odd and cryptic looking

The only decent photo that came out from the beach

As we walked back to Kim’s place, we had dessert! Those of you who know me, I never miss out on dessert. So we had:


Various sweets (that our dentists would love us to eat)

A close up bitten Croatian chocolate from the above platter. It’s different than other European chocolates I’ve ever had. It’s more milk chocolatey and a hint of hazelnut flavor. A Plate of Brownies…It’s in between cakey and fudgey in texture; to me it’s more like a very moist chocolate cake

Texture shot of the brownie

And last but not least…

Black Cake!
Lots of questions have been raised on this particular dessert. First of all, black cake is a cake made during Christmas as a Trinidad tradition. It’s a fruitcake meets English but tastes soo much better than the American fruitcake…there’s no rainbow of neon colors in this cake (Thankfully!) and it smells like raisins (and I happen to love raisins). From what the Boston Globe says, “Its apt name comes from chopped fruits — prunes, raisins, currants, cherries, and candied peel — soaked in dark rum and a sweet wine, along with a burnt sugar essence…”

A slice of Black Cake

Also from that same article it stated that, “In the last essay of “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen,” Colwin wrote, “Black Cake, like truffles and vintage Burgundy, is deep, complicated and intense. It has taste and aftertaste. It demands to be eaten in a slow, meditative way.” I have to concur with that last statement because after I bit that cake, I actually tasted the caramel flavors with the sweetness of the dried fruits in the cake. The booze factor wasn’t really there. I can tell because I really have low tolerance for alcohol. I mean, after a glass of wine I’m a bit buzzed there.

The bitten Black Cake: texture shot
Well, it’s been one heck of a party. I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. Kim, if you’re reading this post: Throw another one in the summer! It would be even better with the beach open.

If you want to see more photos about this party, click here.


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. Edytahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/bs-edyta/ says:

    that just sounds like a great party :) and nice food :) i like the sweets especially. Happy 2007

  2. hellokitty893112 says:

    It was a fun party: good food, lots of fun, and great people. The sweets were the highlight of the evening. :)

  3. Kim says:

    hehee :) thanks a lot for the comments Tina!! and by the way, it’s ‘Stew Chicken’, not roasted! :P
    and it’s not cruel making people dance for their food- I’m just trying to open up their appetite :)next year tina, I’m spiking the food and videotaping the results!- especially you :)youtube here I come!!!

  4. hellokitty893112 says:

    You’re welcome, Kim! Actually, thanks for the party. Sorry about the misnomer on the chicken. Errr…could you not spike the food (unless you’re cooking with it; it’s fine with me since you’re burning most of the alcohol away)? I know I’ll turn terribly red and probably pass out than actually talk stupid.

  5. Kim says:

    hey, a late update, the Black Cake we make for Christmas seems to be a version of English Plum Pudding. I had a suspicion so I checked up a bunch of traditional English recipes and most of the ingredients are the same. I have yet to taste it to really see the difference ( but I bet the Trini Black Cake will trump the Pudding anyway :)

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