Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Hello friends, let's pour a glass of bubbly
and reminisce
In talking to friends about the coming of the new year, feelings were mixed.  Some people dislike New Year's Eve for the flash and expense of it all and prefer a quiet night, whereas some love to have a big party to ring in the day.  I find myself somewhere in between.  I like to remember that January is named for Janus, the Roman god of change and revolution.  He has two faces, one looking forward to the future with a positive and hopeful attitude, the other looking backward to the past and all that has come before with a sombre, serious expression.  On New Year's Eve especially, I find this image to hold significance.  It's a night for reflection on the past year, and expectation for the year to come.  I suppose that's why New Year's Eve always has a touch of melancholy to it, as we think about the year that has passed us and say goodbye to it.  Sometimes that's easy to do, and sometimes not so much.

I don't always make resolutions, but this year I am.  I was very busy for the last two thirds of 2012, and because of that I had to cut out a number of things that I really enjoy doing, and I didn't get to spend time with people that I wanted to.  My resolution for this year is to be less busy - and by that I mean, to take no courses, TA no courses, and focus on learning more about wine on my own at my leisure; to be a little less planned, and to spontaneously call on friends more often; to free up time on weekends and not let myself be over-committed in advance, so that I have time for brunch, yoga, walking, and sleep; finally, to remind myself about what a romantic I am, and to just go with that more often.

New Year's is rife with tradition and superstition, and I like to partake in both of those.  I'm not superstitious in general, but I find it wise to observe some of the precautions of the past.  For example, my Gran always told me that it was lucky to have money in your wallet and in your pocket at the ringing of midnight, because this would ensure that the coming year would be a good one financially.  It's also lucky if the first person to come to the door in the New Year is a man in a hat.  The money I took care of last night, but the man in the hat is trickier.  No one has rung our doorbell yet this year, so perhaps the mailman will be wearing a toque tomorrow and we'll have our lucky visitor.

Chefydrew approaching the lamb with a dash of pepper and
a pinch of suave

Drew and I have started to make our own traditions at home, and one of these is having a few moments to ourselves at New Year's.  Last night, we made this happen by cooking an elaborate and delicious meal at home, accompanied with delicious champagne.  After collecting all the ingredients at St Lawrence Market, Drew cooked up some fried clam sandwiches with a mayo horseradish sauce (yum), followed by a rack of Ontario lamb in a dijon mustard sauce with ratatouille on the side (yum yum).  All was accompanied with Veuve-Clicquot (yummmm).  We got all gussied up before dinner, put on some jazz, and had a regular fine-dining experience right in the comfort of our own home.  This was followed by trips out to friends' parties, and a very late return.

Rack o' Lamb, cooked to perfection, and ratatouille
Fried clam sammies!  So good, those
little guys

Today we took down the Christmas tree, as per tradition at my parents' house.  I love Christmas trees, and I'm always a bit sad to see them go.  The place where they were standing is definitely a bit more boring when they leave - no doubt there.  All the gifts are away, the wrapping paper is gone, the ribbons folded and stashed.  The holidays are, unfortunately, definitely over.  The last thing to do to celebrate the season and the coming of 2013, is to make and eat bona fide Hogmanay steak pie.  I think my Gran would be proud!

Individual steak pie!  When I get some blackbirds I'll make the big ones, too

Happy New Year from us, to you!  Hope the finest things find you in 2013.

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