Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On New Year's Celebrations


We (and when I say we, I mean mainly myself) have never been big on New Year partying -- too far, too late, too cold, and always the problem of having something to drink and then driving the mountain roads. And, since my family tradition calls for getting the tree out of the house before the New Year, I'm usually pretty tired after all the hoo-ha of de-ornamenting the tree and packing away all the pretties. Usually we opt to stay home, have a nice meal, and attempt to stay awake till midnight and drink some bubbly.  For the past few years, 'midnight' has been something of a moveable feast -- often occurring around 10 pm.

This year we hit upon what I think will become a family tradition -- it seemed so apprpriate. After deconstructing the tree, putting the black-eyed peas to soak, and chopping and cooking a mountain of collards for New Year's Day, we made a really nice turkey vegetable soup, using broth from the turkey carcass and throwing in all sorts of bits and pieces from the freezer -- tomatoes, beans, the remnants of greens, a bit of a previous vegetable soup, and onions and rice.

Bubbly was served throughout the concocting of this soup (I knew I wouldn't be awake at midnight) and we enjoyed it with hot bread and butter.  I think I went to bed before nine -- my Occupational Therapy (and perhaps the wine) having left me with no viable alternative.

It was a perfect New Year's Eve!

Yesterday, New Year's Day, was devoted to putting away all the Christmassy red and green (quilts and throw pillows and odds and ends) and replacing these with blue and yellow. Much as I love the Christmas look, I'm also ready to be done with it and I embrace the change.

Our in-laws-to-be came for supper and shared our pork chops, collard greens, black-eyed peas and rice (aka Hoppin' John,) and corn bread. (These future in-laws, Nancy and Bill, will be doubly blessed this year as they had lunch with friends who served the same traditional menu. . .)

It feels good to be building new traditions even as we maintain the old ones.

What were your New Year celebrations like? 
I hope they suited you as well as ours suited us.
 
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14 comments:

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your new years eve sounded perfect to me. We enjoy staying at home too and leave the driving and parties to someone else.

Love your table and view from your dining room.
Sam

Ms. A said...

Hubby wished me a happy new year from work and I fixed the usual fare, black eyed peas, cabbage, cornbread and ham. We ate when he woke up. Been pretty much the same for years. Maybe after he retires in February, things will change a little bit, although I doubt we'll ever be too exciting. Hahaha!

Martin said...

We were in bed by 10.30, Vicki, and yesterday we had our daughter and family over for a bite to eat. There were simple celebrations, and much hope for a happy healthy 2013.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

We always celebrate the New Year at the stroke of midnight, somewhere. This year we celebrated the New Year at the stroke of midnight in Greenland, a full two hours before it arrived here, and went to bed.

Alan Burnett said...

Sounds like a good time to me - whatever the hour. Happy New Year Vicki from Yorkshire.

Brian Miller said...

nice...glad it was a good new year...and def building new traditions on the old is a wonderful thing as well....ours was pretty quiet, just the fam and a bit of fun...

Deanna said...

Nice and quiet - and the decorations are down. Yea. Your celebration sounds perfect. Love the way your dining room window leads the eye to the outside world. Beautiful.

Vagabonde said...

I think the tradition depends on the culture you are from. Since I have been living in the South I cook hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day – but because we like it. My original culture, in France, was that Christmas was mostly for children and not a very big celebration once you were grown up (unless you were a “croyant” a believer, and there are not many left there.) New Year is the big celebration in France, especially in Paris (and that is when people send cards, for New Year, not Christmas.) I loved going down the Champs Elysées, all lighted, and at midnight all the cars blow their horns! Once I was in Algiers, Algeria, for New Year and all the ships in the bay blew their horns, that was nice too – they had a big celebration there too (of course they don’t celebrate Christmas since they are Muslim.) I miss Paris a lot at New Year’s time as it is so much fun there. My father’s family celebrated Christmas on January 6th so in my house we always kept the Christmas decorations until then, even though only my father went to church (sometimes, but rarely.) I was in London many times at New Year and there also it was quite a show. Another year I was in West Africa for New Year, in Gabon. My! we consumed so much Champagne and everyone was kissed – we had so much fun, but here in Georgia – not so much.

Jill said...

We did the same thing except we made vegetable soup with beef. It was a good day to rest and recover from Christmas festivities. Beautiful photos as always!

Star said...

No New Year traditions in my house Vicki, not yet at least. I don't stay up either although I am invariably woken up by fireworks at midnight! I'm a home bird, me, wherever my home happens to be. Last year I was in Tennessee, this year in London but home is home.
Apparently only 18% of people over here went to parties this year.

Thérèse said...

How cozy was my first, and last thought, before writing this!
Traditions feel good and soups are the best way to recover from the "too much eaten" during the previous days...
Hoping you are feeling much better with your knee by now.

Frances said...

Vicki, I do like your New Year's Eve variation, and have enjoyed reading the prior comments, too.

Here in New York City, I would never, never want to be part of the Times Square crowd. On many recent years, I've worked on Dec. 31, and have found my homeward bound subway ride, which involves a transfer "under" Times Square to be entertaining enough, and much warmer.

This year I was lucky to have the 31st off, and loved the relaxation of the day and having an early evening, too. Black eyed peas featured on Jan. 1, but I incorporate them into my own free lance pasta concoction rather than going the Hopping John route.

Best wishes to you as 2013 sets sail. xo

katy gilmore said...

I love all these new beginnings for a fresh year! and love your blue and yellow! Katy

Merisi said...

Your New Year's Eve sounds perfect to me (including the bit about going to bed before the stroke of midnight!).

I have tried a bit of everything on New Year's Eve. One of my first dinner parties as an almost adult which was memorable mostly for the long wait for midnight and the location, a splendid villa on old Via Appia in Rome. Another one was going to bed early and getting up at 4:00 AM on New Year's day, to take the Greyhound up to New York - that was fun!

Vienna sweeps out the old year in quite spectacular fashion: all over the city center live music, a different genre on every square, and people walk around, taking breaks at open punch and bubbly stands in the festively lit city. When the clock strikes midnight, everybody stops to listen to the Pummerin, the venerable bell of St. Stephen's cathedral. Afterwards, it's waltzing for everybody to the Blue Danube waltz. The bell and waltz are also broadcast over the radio, so everyone can take part in this. Even people who like me stayed home.

Happy New Year to all of you,
Merisi