In my last post, I spoke of the importance some people attach to the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve; thinking of the moment as an indicator to how the following year might progress. Other folks also treat New Year's Day as an opportunity to begin the new year with good fortune...the eating of sauerkraut and pork or black-eyed peas are considered ways to ensure said luck occur. We haven't taken part in those particular culinary endeavors the past few years, in fact, we went for Mexican with Ronnie and Jeff on New Years Day this year. Maybe your surroundings say something about the course of the new year. In the course of our lunch, our fellow diners at various tables were a diverse bunch: one single lady was breastfeeding, the woman at the next table was had brought her own cheese AND grater for her lunch and finally, one young man who had clearly overindulged the previous evening calmly heaved into his own to-go box in full view of his family. The family members treated this as if he'd merely knocked over a salt shaker and simply chuckled. I've decided to treat this all as a sign that it will be a great year for people-watching and hope that this doesn't mean that 2012 will be one long re-creation of the pie-eating contest scene in Stand By Me.
Seriously though, 2012 does seem to carry a certain gravity about it. The beginning of every new year has that new car smell and the feeling of abundant possibilities. However, 2012 has that something extra and it ain't necessarily all hopey-changey. Probably thanks largely to the Mayan apocalyptic predictions, 2012 brings with it a bit of dread.. Of course, the impending elections and all of the bile that precede them might be adding to that nagging twinge of lurking doom, also.
Whatever. We move forward, whatever life may hold. In lighter terms, 2012 will also bring another Olympics. USA Today declared 2012 the Year of the Movie Geek and oh Lord yes, there are many geekgasm moments about to burst forth, from the return of Bond and Batman to the debut of the Hunger Games and Avengers movies.
Personally, it feels like a year of change and if we're lucky, those changes will be positive and life-changing in the best of ways. Our marriage certificate arrived in the mail yesterday and today we poured over our newly created wills; cementing our wishes on paper once again. Quite often though, life doesn't go the way we plan it to, so more than anything I pray for resilience for those sharp left turns that leave us breathless. 2011's version of this for us was our friend Carolyn, who is still recovering from her traumatic brain injury. We visited her today and while she has made great strides, there is a long, arduous road ahead. Soon, she will be transferring to the Meadowlands Rehab Hospital in Secaucus, NJ; one of the best facilities in the country for this type of injury. Our vacation plans to the Northwest may have just taken a sharp turn to the Northeast.
I also toured the Elms Hotel today, newly gutted in preparation for the renovations about to take place. While certainly creeptastic to tour the empty historic hotel, the excitement is palpable for what is sure to be a very exciting new chapter when it re-opens in April.
Did I mention Saveur magazine named Kansas City its culinary destination for 2012? What a kick it was to see that on the Today Show, which by the way will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
In conclusion, as we have finally gained a breath from the holidays, we are finally returning to some cooking, which I plan to get back to doing much more often. Today, we made a hearty, healthy batch of bean and barley soup from a recipe off Food Network we found here. The soup was delicious and hopefully the healthy trend will continue as we are still detoxing from the holiday season when we truly outdid ourselves in outright piggishness. Get thee to the vegetable bin, fat boy.
2012...its gonna be a kick. Just hopefully not a kick in the pants.