Ancestral Cooking Forum
Re: New Year Eating
In Response To: New Year Eating ()
Generally speaking, and being mindful of tradition, I usually make a huge spread for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. There are only a few of our family members here in this city, so it's not like a big crowd comes over. But I just love cooking as if visitors would show up, we'd have plenty to feed them. About every two out of three years, we will invite the whole family of six of some friends of ours over. Although it's a bit of work, the enjoyment outweighs the preparation.
I remember my Aunt Vi's New Year's tradition. Aunt Vi (shown below)was actually my mother's aunt, and born in Ohio in the 1890's. Until very late in her life, she would prepare a turkey, chitlin's, ham, blackeyed peas (done with a hock), macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, and yeast rolls. Her Sugar Hill (New York) apartment would be filled with the smell of all that food, and the wonderful desserts that followed the meal. Her tradition would not be complete unless beer was served with the meal, and a man was the first person to cross her threshold after midnight!
Through the years, I modified her traditional meal. With the exception of my mother, no one in my immediate family eats pork. (Mommy will often prepare a small ham, and keep it at home for her own enjoyment.) So, our usual holiday meals generally consists of turkey, pot roast, macaroni and cheese, greens (prepared with some smoked turkey sausage), blackeyed peas, corn pudding, potato salad, fresh green beans, cranberry sauce, and other assorted dishes. Although I love that stuff, and can generally eat it every year, this time around I had the need for variety. Also, in the essence of time and conserving my energy, I scaled the meal way down, and it was wonderful.
This year, there was only one meat dish....of sorts. I prepared meatball stroganoff with lots of mushrooms served over parslied buttered egg noodles. Along with that, we had buttered steamed broccoli, loaded garden salad, potato salad, and crescent rolls. The only homage to our traditional meal were the potato salad, egg nog, and the obligatory sweet potato pie topped with whipped cream. (I just can't resist!) I also made a variation of pineapple upside-down cake, by doing two layers, and topping one with the other.
We did things differently, this year, and there were no complaints. In fact, not a lot of discussion was had, while we all repeatedly loaded our plates. I don't know what I'll do next year. We may go back to our traditional meal, or not. It's nice to branch out for variety. As long as the food is good, hearty, and feeds the spirit as well as the body, that's good New Year's eating!