Which is what I did on New Year's Eve when I was invited to my friend Leppy's house, even though it meant breaking a date with Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. It was a fun way to ring in the new year: dinner with about 8 people where the company was fantastic, the food was wonderful, and there was an opportunity to sing a few show tunes. We were all so busy having a good time that we completely missed the ball dropping in Times Square.
There was a ton of great food, but I just love Leppy's baked olives. What's not to like? It's basically olives and olive oil slowly baked with garlic and rosemary. She claims they are totally easy to make as long as you keep the heat low, but a friend of ours has told me she tried it and they didn't come out right. The friend is Australian, however, so maybe trying to do the whole thing upside down was the problem.
I haven't tried making baked olives yet because I live alone and having to eat a whole pot of olives in a timely manner sounds like a lot of pressure. But I sort of suspect that half of what makes them so good is the atmosphere: gathering around a bowl, dipping bread in the garlicky olive oil, munching on the olives, and listening to Sinatra. Not to mention discussing the rules for playing the (oldest established) permanent floating crap game in New York.