A fun read to plan for your New Year’s Eve celebrations!

I just wanted to share a link with you, as you plan your NYE celebrations.

NPR’s food blog The Salt is always good for some interesting food news and ideas. I’m glad I stumbled on it a month or so ago.

I found this post, on New Years Eve traditions around the world, particularly delightful. Possibly because I have both lentils and sausage in my house, and the ethnicity I can most lay claim to is Italian. (Or maybe I just like the idea of throwing things, and I think throwing them off my 6th floor balcony sounds more fun than at my neighbor’s front door.)

I possibly ought to be looking for a Hoppin’ John recipe (which I know I have, as I think on it, in No Red Meat), since I am, far more than I am Italian, American. However, I’m definitely not from the south, and didn’t grow up with such a New Year’s Eve tradition, so it would feel almost more like co-opting another’s lucky ritual than grabbing a taste of heritage.

In truth, I don’t have any memories of any particular thing we did to ring in the New Year. I don’t, in fact, remember most New Year’s Eve nights of my youth. I remember with my whole family, quite against my will, to see Titanic. Man, I hated everything about that. And you know what? The next year was pretty crappy as well. Until New Year’s Eve. I remember what I was doing that year also, and it might have involved kissing and underage champagne sipping1 and I won’t tell you anything else, because someday my parents might actually read this blog.

The best New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve ever had was my first one with Bill. Talking, laughing, eating, just being together. Our first time turning the New Year together. It was a joy.

So, with that, let me tell you about what is, I think, the only superstition this scientist holds:

The exact details of how one turns from Old Year to New Year are irrelevant. What matters is how you feel at that moment the year turns. Miserable, because you’re a petulant 16 or 17 year old and you have to go see a movie your whole family wants to see together? Well, your outlook on that year is probably screwed. Joyous, because it’s the first New Year’s Eve you’ve spent with the person you’d eventually marry? You’re probably going to attack the year with gusto, and enjoy much of it.

So, with that, I want to wish you all a very joyous New Year’s Eve. I’ll “see” you on the other side.

fn1. But not drinking. I’m so lame. I hated the taste of any sort of booze until I was about 26 years old.