Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

New Years Eve, Day, Food Traditions

Thank dog this year will soon be over. Everyone was talking tonight what a horrible year 2008 has been. People are really looking forward to January 20 and a new president who has a plateful of problems mounting by the minute.

Somehow we still have hope in our hearts.

What do you do on New Years Eve? or New Years Day? Do you have any food traditions? Some people eat certain foods like cabbage and black eyed peas for luck. For some reason, I think we had baked beans on New Years Day when I was a kid but I cannot remember why.

When I was in my early 20s, I went to New York City to watch the ball drop. I was fearless then and met a friend — Margo (whatever happened to Margo from Ithaca, NY?) in the Big Apple. I was coming from Ohio.

All I remember that it was very cold and overrated. I don’t know what I expected when the ball dropped but it was anti-climatic. My mother feared for my life to be alone in New York.

The rest of my New Years Eves are a blur. I’m sure I had several parties. I loved to entertain. That’s the good thing about growing old. Who can remember all the crap in your life?

I do remember the New Years when 1999 rolled over to 2000. Everyone feared that the computer systems would go bad and went to take large amounts of money out of the ATM.

I was living in Redondo Beach then and didn’t want to go anywhere because I didn’t know what to expect. I had two roommates — Jim and Linzi. I invited Kate and she brought her dog Bosco and  decided to have a dinner.

I remember among the four of us, we ended up with eight bottles of champagne. This dinner lasted hours. Jim, who hardly ever went in my kitchen, said he would make the dessert and it took him an hour to whip cream. Because he was an engineer, he patiently explained the physics of it all. We sat politely rapt.

At midnight we went outside to burn our fears and scream. Jim introduced a bottle of Chambord liqueur and we started mixing it with the remaining bottles  of champagne.

Around 2 a.m. I was thinking (none to clearly) that I wanted these people to  leave because I was really drunk and wanted to go to bed. At some point, I remembered that two of them lived there and Kate was too drunk to get behind the wheel of a car.

At 3 a.m. I went to bed and took Painter and Lily, my two greyhounds, in my bedroom. I told  Kate to sleep on the couch and gave her a sheet and blanket. Apparently, my dogs left the bedroom to rejoin the party. I passed out. I was told that Jim played his electric guitar from 4 to 5 a.m. I slept through it.

The next day all the dogs had to go outside and do their business and I was the only one who apparently could lift my head off the pillow without it exploding. I gave them all biscuits and hustled back to bed.

When I actually managed to roust out of bed around 10 a.m. all the champagne and Chambord had been drunk.

I made coffee and took the dogs for a walk. No one else woke up until after noon.

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