One of the best things about writing cookbooks is being able to share my favorite recipes with others. With New Year's Eve in mind, I've assembled some nibbles for celebrating what we all hope will be a positive, prosperous new year. One of these recipes comes from my latest book: Macho Nachos: 50 Toppings, Salsas, and Spreads for Irresistible Snacks and Light Meals. Think: Super Bowl and Macho Nachos.
Hungry for New Year's factoids and trivia? Here are a few tidbits to toss out while waiting for the big ball to drop, or to spice up your New Year's Day events:
Rose Parade: In Southern California, where I live, many of us will still be digging out from the devastation of the worst fires in the state's history, but Pasadena's annual Tournament of Roses Parade is a reminder that life here is still full of joy. The parade has a unique feature: The floats are decorated entirely with flowers and vegetation. The parade dates back to 1886, when members of the Valley Hunt Club adorned their carriages with blossoms, in celebration of the local orange crop. (Sadly, most of the orange orchards in this region have been replaced by shopping centers and suburbs.) Carriages eventually gave way to flowered floats, and the City of Pasadena became the parade's sponsor. The New Year's football game was first played in 1906, but didn't become a real tradition until 1916. In between the sport of choice was chariot racing.
Resolutions: If returning your neighbor's tools is at the top of your New Year's resolutions list, you're not alone. The ancient Babylonians started the resolutions tradition, and giving back their neighboring farmer's tools was their main concern.
Mummers Parade: Another elaborate New Year's Day parade takes place in Philadelphia: The Mummers Parade. Mummers means disguise in German. The term mummers derives from the costumed portrayals of the play St. George and the Dragon, and Swedish settlers' practice of extending their "Second Day Christmas" celebrations to and including New Year's Day. Today, the parade is famous for its elaborate costumes, satires, and performances, with participants divided into four prize-winning categories: Comics, Fancy Costumes, Strings, and Fancy Brigade. The first official Mummer's parade began in 1901, but unofficially, the Philadelphia area saw rowdy parade groups as early as the 1770s. Even before then, the custom was influenced by the 400 BC Roman festival of Saturnalias. People marched in masks as a day of satire and revelry, including noise-making to drive out demons from the New Year.
Food Traditions: To ensure good luck in the New Year, every culture seems to have some form of food tradition. The Spanish eat twelve grapes at midnight, one for each chime of the clock. In Southern United States, black eyed peas and the dish known as Hoppin' John are the vehicles for good fortune. Greeks enjoy pastries with a special gold or silver coin baked inside, known as St. Basil's Cakes (in honor of a founding saint of the Greek Orthodox Church). Scots eat three-cornered biscuits known as hogmanays, and haggis, a sheep's stomach stuffed with revved up oatmeal.
A happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year to all!
- Kate, Thomas and all of us at Global Gourmet
and Chive Nachos, from Kate Heyhoe's Macho Nachos
Corn Pancakes with Caviar and Sour Cream
Roasted Potato Skins with Sour Cream and Caviar
Spaghettini with Caviar and Champagne Sauce
Hoppin John Salad
Lone Star Caviar: Black-Eyed Pea Relish
Kate's Global Kitchen for December 2003:
12/05/03 Kate's Culinary Gift Guide, Part 1:
Cutting Up, Cooking, and Looking Good
12/12/03 Kate's Culinary Gift Guide, Part 2:
Wake Up, Eat Up, and Save the Leftovers!
12/19/03 Kate's Culinary Gift Guide, Part 3:
Cook's Gadgets, Wine Tools, and "Harvesting the Dream"
12/26/03 Caviar Nachos, New Year Nibbles, and Trivial Tidbits
Copyright © 2003, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created 2003 and modified November 2006.
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