Christmas is over, New Year is almost upon us! But first we have to say goodbye to the old year, which many of us will do by having a party tomorrow. New Year parties tend to be larger and more informal affairs than the close family and friends gatherings of Christmas. There’s music and dancing late into the night, as the old year slips out and the new one rolls in. But food is still very much part of the evening. For any cook tackling a New Year Party, it’s all about crowd pleasing food that doesn’t stress the nerves out. One pot dishes are brilliant – depending on size of party, a big pan (or several big pans) of a hearty stew or casserole, a curry or chilli con carne are dishes that often hit the spot better than more fiddly smaller hot choices – and provide great soakage since New Year’s Eve parties are generally rowdy, boozy affairs! Any of these one pot dishes can be made today and reheated when required tomorrow – they always taste better the day after making. Alternatively, a cold buffet that can be prepared in advance tomorrow afternoon is also an easy entertaining option. Irish charcuterie, smoked salmon and cheeses can form the centre piece of a great party table , with a selection of salads and crusty breads to accompany. Good to showcase Ireland’s artisan specialities, to hail the start of a brand new year of production!