I’ve always felt that the way I spend New Year’s (Eve and Day) foreshadows my experiences for the rest of the year. And it usually does: we’re either traveling with family, having a special outing with family, or spending time at home with family, celebrating the beginning of a great new year with a great meal. Last year at year’s-end, we were at our cabin in the Rockies and spent a fantastic New Year’s Eve in Breckenridge watching the fireworks, which we highly recommend. There’s a Torchlight Parade, with skiers coming down the mountain adorned with red lights on their ski poles, which is a marvelous spectacle. Then there are the fireworks, which are spectacular. Even in sub-zero weather, which last year was about -15 degrees.
My Facebook post on New Year’s Day of 2015 read: “We had a great time in Breckenridge last night but couldn’t last ’til midnight when we got back to the cabin. No worries, New Year’s Eve champagne makes great New Year’s Day mimosas.” We had a throw down spicy sausage and egg casserole and mimosas for our brunch here at Little House in the Rockies, which really hit the spot. By the way, I saw Anthony Dias Blue of Wine Spectator on Good Morning America about 25 years ago, and when asked about champagne for mixing in drinks like mimosas, he advocated using inexpensive but decent champagne (like Korbel). He said that the finer champagnes were wasted when they were mixed with juices or other liquors. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Back to New Year’s Brunch. There are certain requirements for the menu. Being a southerner, I was raised on the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s Day. The trouble is, I don’t like them very much. My parents found a recipe called Texas Caviar years ago that solves this problem: the black-eyeds are masked by yummy pico de gallo-like ingredients in this a spicy, fresh dip. I don’t have their recipe, but found one in another blog that looks very close: click here.
Basically, you have to have lucky foods, which can include pork or fish, both celebratory and extravagant foods, greens, for the color of money, coin-shaped foods, or food that is the color of gold, like cornbread (click here for a neat blog post about lucky foods for New Year’s). You also need very hearty foods, if it’s a morning-after kind of situation. And make-ahead foods are always handy if you’re going out on New Year’s, but having guests or a special family meal on New Year’s Day.
So here’s my recommended New Year’s Brunch Menu (which can also be a lovely New Year’s Eve menu if you’re having a party):
- Sweet Potato Biscuits, which are shaped like coins and also the color of gold
- Scotch Eggs, which have pork, a celebratory food
- Smoked Salmon Spread, another celebratory and extravagant food
- Mashed Potato Pancakes, also shaped like coins, and because they are a fabulous complement to the other foods
- Antipasto Fresca, because you need something fresh and brightly colored with all these other dishes!
- Sweets: perhaps Raspberry Nut Bars or Glover Gardens Comfort Cookies
- The Pampas Grass, a champagne drink from Glover Gardens.
My final recommendation: have fun! New Year’s is a holiday without the burden of huge expectations or gifts. Just go with the feeling and start out the new year in a happy and joyful way.