As promised (and just in the nick of time), we now present the final installment in our three-part series on the life and times of the House of Humphries during the 2007 holiday season:

New Year’s Eve

The whole week up to this day has seen lots and lots of sleep for the whole family. This day was no exception. We slept in late. Upon awaking, we proceeded to the basement to play Lego Star Wars (to which Will is official addicted). Will calls it “Lego Man.”

Preparations for our New Year’s Eve dinner had been taking place for a whole day already. The lengthy preparations involved making duck stock from the carcass of the duckling we ate on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, we further reduced the stock into a demi-glace.

Also that day, we went to an optometrist in Newnan. I’ve been without contacts for a couple of years now, and I had to have a new eye exam before I could order more contact lenses. After we returned, we opened a fancy bottle of wine (a 2003 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru – I can’t recall precisely which château), and returned to food preparations.

The duck demi-glace was to be a sauce for home-made egg noodles with mushrooms (shiitake, portabella, and oyster ‘shrooms). The main course was braised beef short ribs. Needless to say, dinner was phenomenal.

We missed all of the New Year festivities later that evening. We had bought a bottle Lindeman’s Pêche Lambic with which to celebrate (Malin and I both prefer it to sparkling wine), but we had to cancel. We watched Ocean’s Thirteen, and it was quarter past midnight by the time the movie was finished. By that time we felt like retiring for the night and saving the bottle for the following evening…

New Year’s Day

The next day, technically speaking, wasn’t part of our 2007 holidays, seeing as it was suddenly 2008. But we’ll include a brief run-down anyway.

The day was lazy with much sleeping in. I was originally intending to brew a batch of beer, but that plan was canceled due to it being too much work for my last day of vacation/holiday. I briefly thought about it, but by that point it was already 5pm and too late to start.

The duck demi-glace was all gone, but we still had noodles, mushrooms, and short ribs left. So I made a roux using some beef fat (that was rendered while braising the ribs, and had now coagulated into a solid in the fridge), a splash of heavy cream, flour, and – the magic ingredient – a touch of condensed veal demi-glace (store-bought, unlike the duck demi-glace from the night before, but still unearthly good). I used that as a sauce for the re-heated noodles, and the food was suddenly just as delicious the next day as it had been the night before.

2008, Here We Come

And that was how we spent our holiday week. I was off from work for seven business days total – which works out to eleven days away from the office when you count the weekends. It was awesome.

The next day it was back to work, and life was back to its hectic pace: supposed normalcy.

Will has been off and on with his potty skills over the past month. Some weeks he is really good, but many weeks he is really bad. He now knows exactly what is expected of him, but he chooses to urinate or defecate on himself – presumably it is easier than walking to the toilet and dealing with it in the proper manner…

We were, at one point, hoping that he would be pretty much potty-trained before starting school. He seemed to be doing better and better. And then he regressed… back and forth… two steps forward and one step back. So now we are hoping that being at school will help. His peers will be using the potty, and hopefully this environment will help motivate him to follow suit.

Will’s birthday was today. He is now officially three years old. His birthday party is tomorrow. And Monday, he starts school. So our year is off to an exciting start.

We hope everyone we know is having and continues to have a wonderful new year.