welcome to 2013

first sunrise of the year

Here’s to a bright and better new year! As we often do, we stayed in and had all the Traditional Foods of the season.


First, on New Year’s Eve, there was the chips and dip course. This year I made a variation of the America’s Test Kitchen caramelized onion dip, and it was pretty good, although still a bit too sweet. We ate more vegetables with it than usual, since I ended up with vast quantities of crudites after a catered event last weekend.

oysters Continue reading

Happy 2011!

ridiculously scenicbubbly

We celebrated the end of 2010 our usual way, with oysters and potato chips and onion dip and Good Luck Noodles and bubbly, then rang in the new year with cassoulet, followed by a serious need to lay off the carbohydrates for a while. Here’s to the new year – may it be a good one!

down the oyster road


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noodles for good luck

Good Luck noodles for New Year's Eve

My family has a few traditions that we keep up pretty well. Some are new and just between J and myself, like having macaroni and cheese on my birthday, or pumpkin soup and Yorkshire pudding on Halloween. But the oldest and most sacrosanct tradition is the Good Luck noodle bowl on New Year’s Eve. There may have been a year when I have not eaten these noodles, but I’m not sure…even when I’ve spent the holiday with friends I’ve insisted that this dish get eaten. I just feel funny without it.

According to my father, our family has been eating noodles on New Year’s Eve since about 1950, when my grandparents became good friends with a Japanese family. The Fujitas introduced them to the idea that eating noodles with chicken, eggs, broth and scallions at the beginning of a new year brought good luck and health. When I was a kid, we always ate the noodles directly after midnight, after setting off fireworks in the snow and attempting to play each others’ instruments, loudly. These days, we tend to eat earlier in the evening and save some champagne for the midnight toast. It hasn’t seemed to hurt anything (knock on wood). J and I have also started buying a package of Chinese barbecued pork from the local deli counter and slivering it into the noodles, as being a little more festive than shredded chicken. And we sometimes use Japanese udon instead of the traditional Rose brand Chinese egg noodles (gasp!). But fortunately, it’s good no matter what. Continue reading

Happy New Year!

champagne corks

For some reason, J likes to save the corks from bottles of sparkling wine – champagne, prosecco, whatever. If he shoots the cork up the stairs then it gets put over my dressing room door; if he pops it out quietly it stays at the bottom of the stairs. We’ve been in this house for more than a few years now – it’s a pretty good collection.

We’ll be adding a cava cork to the lineup tonight. Happy New Year’s Eve to everyone out there!