New Year has always seemed like an unwelcome addendum to me. After the great climax that is Christmas et al, the celebrations of the New Year are like aftershocks. Or leftovers. New Years is the turkey sandwich of holidays. The day-old cut tomatoes, the slightly dry meat. The mayo with bits of bygone bread.
So of course we celebrate it! My family has, for years, celebrated the New Year with seafood. Because nothing says “ring in the new” like pounds of raw fish, right? We buy crab legs in the shell, mussels and oysters, and usually a few pound of shrimp, all of which is steamed in garlic butter. If there’s some brie around, it’s also laid out, accompanied by the ubiquitous Bosc pears. Top it off with huge crusty loaves of french bread, and melted butter in creme brulee pots for each person. Lay down newspaper and serve. Sprinkle liberally with champagne.
The seafood orgy is part and parcel of what we do, but I’ve also tried to incorporate some traditions from R’s side of the world. There’s a soup called sancocho, a traditional Colombian dish with pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in it. You throw whatever meat you have into a pot with yucca, potatoes, corn on the cob, and plantains. If you speak Spanish (or Italian- not sure why she’s codeswitching here) you can watch the video, which gives a pretty good idea of what goes into this amazing soup:
Along with the sancocho is the tradition of eating grapes- one for each toll of the midnight bell. You toss a grape into your mouth for each bell ring and you have good luck throughout the year. Kind of a South American chubby bunny.
As my parents are out of town, and they usually host the festivities, we may not be doing any of this this year. A good friend has mentioned she’s having a get-together, but home is calling to me and we may just hibernate. Grapes and all. We’ll see- I’m feeling not a trifle “blah” about it, anyway, and I know I’m not the only one.
Any chubby bunny for you? :O