I remember New Year's Day with my roommate and his mother...
Don was Danish, and his mom asked us over for a smorgesboard to celebrate New Year's Day with her. I had never met her before, but Don assured me she was nice. She lived in a little apartment by herself. The dining room table was covered with little plates with all kinds of food on them, all covered in plastic wrap. As the afternoon began, she unwrapped a few of the little plates, and we'd all help ourselves. After a few of the plates had been tackled, she disappeared into the kitchen and came back with a liqueur she'd been keeping in the freezer, Aquavit. She poured us each a little glassful, and then we all knocked it back in one quick gulp. It was refreshing! Then more little plates would be uncovered, then more Aquavit, etc. Always the Aquavit would be put back in the freezer right away.
I had to ask a lot of questions, as there were many foods that I had never seen before, or never had enough courage to try. Pickled herring, lots of different white fish, a spread for crackers made of beef fat, all kinds of little strange nibblies. I'm not sure what the ratio of plates to Aquavit was, but Don's mom seemed to have an equation all worked out. By the end of the last little covered plate, we were all getting happily sloshed, Danish style!
It seemed very strange to me at first to be drinking with someone's MOM. Drinking is something you hide from your mom, isn't it? My parents are teetotallers and look down on drinking. I had never shared a drink of alcohol with my parents, but after dancing around the living room singing "I Wanna Be Like Yoo-oo-ou" from the Jungle Book with Don and his mom, I began to wonder if maybe MY family was the weird one, and that maybe I had been missing out.