One virtue of having the house in a manageable state, rather than being overwhelmed by clutter, is that prep for Purim went *extremely* smoothly. I was actually set up to begin at the scheduled time of 2 p.m. (which, due to previous years, no one expected, so people didn't start really showing up until about 2:30 or so). We had a few newcomers, and a bunch of regulars who didn't make it this year, so it clocked in at what has become the usual 40 or so.
Aaron was quite pleased to be sporting his bar mitzvah sword (gift from the household) with his costume. He wore it quite responsibly -- peace bonded, no drawing for the children clustered around asking "is that a real sword." (answer: "yes, which is why it's staying in the sheath and no, you can't play with it in shul.") This was without prompting, mind. I am proud to say Aaron has totally absorbed proper weapons safety.
The food was plentiful, and fit my theme of "comfort food" (albeit on the rather high end). We had *lots* of singing. In addition to my standard song sheets, Les Miz proved enormously popular for some reason :).
It was also my birthday, sort of (actually, my Birthday is today, both Hebrew an standard calendar, but close enough to celebrate). It was not my 111th so we did not feel the need to have 1 gross attend. But it snowed food and rained drink, and I am happy to add "thag you berry much" for everyone who attended.
For those interested, the menu was:
Lamb lentil soup (made by my brother) -- we always had lentil soup growing up, although usually made with a turkey carcass not lamb.
Beef Veg Soup (contributed)
Ground beef kabobs and mustard sauce (contributed)
Smoked veal breast on the bone (mine, smoked over pecan wood with a Cherryaki glaze,a comfort food because the Cherryaki commercial glaze always reminds me of the veal spare ribs we used to get at Shmooger Bernstein's Kosher Chinese on the Lower East Side when we visited my father's parents of blessed memory)
Turkey (also smoked over pecan wood, and a second turkey made in the oven with a curry rub)
Lamb curry (this is something I made about 5 years ago and it has become so popular that it is now pretty much a staple).
Beef stroganoff (using tofu whip, contributed at my request, as it is one of my regular purim favorites)
Tzimes (I've been working on a modern "deconstructed tzimes" that worked rather well)
Homemade banana cream pie (contributed)
hamentashan (from local bakery)
We are, as always, awash in leftovers. Need to try to fit stuff in the freezer. No shopping 'til Peasach!