(Shown here, my herb shop next to the garden, with a light dusting of snow today).
I think the observance of the New Year holiday is more emotional and psychological than it is real. It's a bit like paying a religious person to forgive you for all the errors you made in the last 12 months, so that you can simply start all over again with a clean slate and make the same errors of judgment again. Granted, it is an observable date, something you can point to on the calendar and say, "That's the day I quit smoking" or, "I swore I'd cut my soft drink spending in half, beginning there..." But the date's also loaded with minefields. Intentions are good on the first day of the year, less so after the second piece of candy the day after. But if for nothing else, setting aside one day of the year to start anew, make promises, allow ourselves some forgiveness for being slackers, is in the end, a good thing.
blue moon on New Year's Eve, you will have to wait another 29 (or was it 27) years to see another. And no, the name blue moon doesn't relate to its color, it will likely be its regular moon-color. Read the link to see why it's a blue moon. Additionally, this Saturday will be a palindrome date --- 01022010. (A palindrome is a number, word, or something that can be read the same forwards or backwards).
The seed catalogs keep arriving daily and piling up in my office, beckoning me to STOP and read them. I'm just not ready to leap into the pile to ferret out the exciting new plants I want to grow in the coming year. With last year's record millions of new, first time gardeners, seed companies have pulled out all the stops to offer us even more tempting selections. Jeremiath Gettle, who with his wife, Emilee, owns Baker Creek Seed, said they have expanded from 900 varieties of vegetables and herbs last year, to just over 1,100 this season! And our friends, Rose Marie and Keane McGee, owners of Nichols Garden Nursery, have lots of new and tempting additions this year, as well, including offering seed for the Achocha plant I've been crowing about this year in earlier postings on this blog. If you want to grow some, they are the only source I know, and theirs comes from the strain I was given by my friend in Bhutan.
Indiagarden, you can see they are growing all the things we in the cold Midwest only imagine from our seed catalogs at this time of year. And in Puerto Rico, see the plants this San Juan, Puerto Rican gardener is growing. If we can't garden this time of year, we can experience and appreciate other people's gardens through their blogs.
Our friends in Hawai'i, Bill and Betty Daily, sent this link for some New Year's day food suggestions from the CopyKat Recipes page. The bottom one, lovingly titled, "White Trash Sushi" consists of ham rolled around a dill pickle, then wrapped in an egg roll wrapper, sealed and deep fried. The reviews say it is really good. As Americans, we firmly believe that anything is good, provided it is deep-fried! (That's why weight-loss programs are such money makers for their creators).
State Fair food. (You'll remember that last year the winners were, deep-fried Coca Cola, and deep fried M and M candies; this year, deep-fried butter took the prize). The vendors at all the state fairs across the country compete each year to see what weird new food can be deep fried for people gullible enough to try it).
So I'm thinking, if you took a hot dog, put it in a bun, added relish, mustard, pickles, onions, dipped it in batter and deep fried it, THEN, dip it again in more batter and roll that in chopped onions and deep fried it again. That should win. It combines state fair food - the always America hot dog - with all the traditional condiments, it fulfills the category of ordinary/unusual food that is deep-fried, and no one else is doing it. Now there is a perfectly good reason to swear off deep fried food for the whole New Year. (And for those of you who are reading this from countries that have more civilized food, it's just fine to deem American food as just plain silly; often times, IT IS!).
Steven Litchford, on his ManDish blog, posted this recipe for using up the refrigerator left-overs from Christmas dinner. Check out his Warm Maple, Ham and Apple leftover casserole, which I am certain is better than a double-deep fried hot dog on a bun.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope this finds you looking forward to a new year ahead. Whether your New Year comes at the end of December, or it comes later, I wish you the very best in the coming year.