Plans for a winter evening.
Give a cooking class. There must be, among your friends, people whose recipes you'd love to steal -- the maker of the best chicken Kiev this side of the Volga or a chocolate mousse cake so rich it requires an instant call to Dieter's Anonymous.
Ask the creators of such recipes (one entree and one dessert) to come and demonstrate their specialties. Unless you have a huge kitchen or a restaurant stove, limit the entire guest list to six people.
You buy all the ingredients from lists supplied by the cooks, and give everyone notebooks to write down the instructions. Make sure the dishes being demonstrated don't both require the oven at the same time and at different temperatures. Have a salad ready and serve the lesson.
Hold a quilting bee. Invite friends to join you in front of the fire, bringing scraps of fabric and scissors.
You provide squares of muslin, 12-inches-by-12-inches, needles and thread, and, if you can find one in the library, a book with quilting patterns. t
The circle of sewers can cover their squares with patchwork or appliqued designs, and use them later as covers for pillows. Serve tea and cookies and feel virtuous.
Or you might have a simple sewing bee, with everyone bringing the mending they always mean to get to. That is even more virtuous.
Have an after-ski party. They are much too much fun to be confined to people who can afford the slopes. Everyone can wear warm and rugged clothes and sit around the fire telling tale tales of moguls met and conquered and the time they skied the finest powder outside of Kitzbuhel.
Serve the drinks people order at the famous apres-ski lounges, and you will find you can go downhill as fast as anyone on skis.
Gluhwein (a mulled wine) from the Magnifico in Aspen, is made by putting the following ingredients into a non-aluminum sauce pan and boiling for five minutes: one cup water, one thick slice of lemon, four whole cloves, and two cinnamon sticks. Add two cups of a full-bodied, Californian red jug wine and reheat, but do not boil.Add sugar to taste. Serves two.
A fortified Irish coffee comes from the Paragon bar in Aspen. Pour 1 1/4 ounces of Irish whiskey and 1/4 ounce of Kahlua into an 8- to 10-inch mug, fill to within an inch of the rim with hot coffee and top with whipped cream flavored with green creme de menthe.
There also is a drink called Ambush that is found in many resorts. Pour one ounce of peppermint Schnapps, or 1 1/4 ounces of Cheri Swisse, into an 8- to 10-ounce mug, fill to within an inch of the top with hot chocolate, and top with whipped cream.
All of the above recipes were collected by the International Review of Food and Wine.