Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I never know the appropriate way to segue from sad news to glad tidings. I know I must post about the yuck of life pretty often because I actually think about that switching of gears a lot. Part of my quest for beauty out of ugliness I suppose. Anyway, I also like to be positive and encouraging whenever possible. And it is a new year. It is funny trying to explain to a six year old, after a season of three religious holidays, what the big deal is about New Year's. I don't really guess I know. Something about a fresh start maybe? But that's kind of not exciting. Do we really ever do anything differently after the New Year? Other than write several checks where we have to cross out the date and initial over the new year until we catch on.

We were unable to go out last night as we were invited to a party for families and our children were sick. We didn't want to be responsible for getting other children sick and causing other mothers to miss church and play nurse. We watched the ball drop and commented (as usual) on how dumb the whole thing is, and yet we nearly always watch. There is a comedian, I can't remember who, who talks about how any other time watching the clock is a sign of absolute boredom, yet New Year's Eve is a "holiday" designated for watching the clock. No wonder it is usually such a boring event.

But we did have friends over for New Year's brunch today. We had to think in terms of people without kids (not as likely to get sick) and were immediately excited about having an opportunity to have our friends the Browns over. We were so glad they were in town and were able to come. Everything went so well that I think having guests for New Year's brunch will have to become a family tradition. Well, our previous tradition has been to travel to Alabama to see our friends the Fittses or to have them here. So I suppose brunch is not really a new thing at all. But you don't think of it as a special brunch when it is all around a special few days.

We were so sad not to be able to go to Birmingham this year. It was one of those grown up decisions. I do not like making grown up decisions! But in the end, we had a great time anyway, saved a lot of time, energy, and money on what is, to be honest, a real pain in the butt trip (though very much worth it anyway!), and are actually resting rather than running ourselves ragged. I know, leave it to me to put that sort of spin on seeing our best friends. It isn't bad at all while we're there. It's so much fun and so good to be with friends that it makes up for everything. But nonetheless, there is much that goes into mobilizing a family of five for a week away from home. You know, all the baby gear, having clean clothes to pack, having stuff to occupy young kids for 20 hours worth of driving as well as for staying in places that are not really set up for kids. Then there's the driving when you would be sleeping, the staying up and visiting when you would be sleeping, the taking care of children who don't adjust well to unfamiliar environments when you would be sleeping. But it's great. I mean, it is. We so wish we were doing it all right now! Our friends roll out the red carpet for us. I know they are aware of the effort we make to get there, so once we arrive, there is one delicious meal after another with plenty of yummy snacks and tasty beverages in between. They invite all our friends from the old gang for at least one event. Everyone brings their own specialty dishes, games or gadgets they got for Christmas (which usually includes lots of smokes for the menfolk), and all their own kids (which is more and more every year- when we left, there were just our kids!) and we just play.

I hope no matter where I am I will always have friends who play. You know I can be a little too all play and no work, but there are some folks who never let themselves play. How do they stand it? I hope you are all playing today! The "grind" starts back up tomorrow! If you have a little extra time though, try some of my recipes from my yummy New Year's menu! I am too lazy to type them all out, but fortunately, other people on the internet already did! Yea!

Sausage, egg, and cheddar breakfast casserole (you know the one. there are a hundred variations of this, and I can't find my exact one after looking. so if you are dying for my recipe, let me know and I'll post it later)
Blueberry Scones (Cook's Illustrated)
Cinnamon Rolls
Banana nut bread (our guests were generous enough to bring this so I cannot post the recipe today. I will see if I can't get the recipe from her soon though)
Citrus fruit salad ( here, all I did was get the sections from oranges and pink grapefruits, with no seeds or membranes, and threw in some raspberries. you may think you don't like grapefruit, but you probably do like pink grapefruit. it's just the membranes that are so bitter. trust me.)
Whipped hot chocolate (Ina Garten)
Homemade marshmallows (Ina Garten)
Champagne/Sparkling grape juice
Orange juice

Oh, and I meant to make grits but forgot. Maybe a good goal for me before next year's brunch would be to learn to make my own cinnamon rolls (but why bother when Sister Schubert's are so good?!) and learn a little something about wines and champagnes before heading the the grocery thirty minutes before closing on New Year's Eve! I know nothing so take this for what it's worth (not much), but I thought it was pretty good champagne (er, um, sparkling wine). Cheers!

1 comment:

george edema said...

A minor note: just because we missed a year doesn't make our New Year's tradition "previous."

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