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. . .)