Despite many tempting invitations to friends’ parties and enticing menus at some of our favorite restaurants, Will and I have decided to stay home for New Year’s Eve. I thought of doing something that makes sense to me not only from the practical point of view, but also from the sort of spiritual. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, a few overnight freezes and recent rainy days, the garden is really, really looking shabby and we have not had the time to clean it up. Behold the horrors of its current state:
I thought it would be (somehow) meaningful to combine gardening chores with the ringing of the new year, spend the day tomorrow cleaning it all up: pulling off frozen, spent, and dead plants; blowing off the piles of pecan leaves; and cutting down the perennial herbs. Then, I will harvest whatever is ready and use it for New Year’s Eve dinner. I will, as usual, complement with things I already have on hand. The only thing I bought was a bunch of wine at 20% off at Central Market (I still haven’t figured out how to grow that) and a couple of lobster tails to inaugurate my new electric steamer Willy gave me for Christmas. A possible menu:
~Appetizers: Last of the harvested Hungarian Wax peppers, stuffed with bacalao a la Vizcaina (Xmas Eve leftover, more below); garden beet stems with blue cheese dip
~First course: Cream of broccoli stems and leaves (the darned things are not making heads so I need to plant new ones!)
~Second course: Apple, celeriac and garden beet salad on mixed garden greens with citronette
~Third course: steamed lobster tail, celeriac/potato gratin, garden baby carrots, sauteed beet greens, and baked garden fall tomato.
~Dessert: Selections from Sticky Toffee Pudding Co.
An update with progress pictures is forthcoming, as are some changes and exciting new things for 2011. Announcements will be made hopefully on Monday. Tomorrow, it’s Pork Fest at my friend Jodie’s, where we celebrate her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage with pork and sauerkraut for luck and hours of college football. Sunday, the last day of the NFL regular season and time for me to lay on the couch with Rosie and Benji, counting my blessings and plotting how to take over the world in 2011. Happy New year to all my readers!