Happy new year to all! I’m taking a break from closet-cleaning to cook for our dinner party tonight. Just two guests besides us, and here’s the menu: Prime rib, pommes dauphine, spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil, chocolate mousse. Our guests are bringing a seafood appetizer and a fennel-arugula salad. If I were Jesus and could perform miracles, I’d whisk you all here and multiply the menu loaves-and-fishes style, but alas, I am but me.
It was a good year, and I’m hoping for another. There were trials along the way, but we got them into the rear-view, and no one got seriously sick, injured or estranged. I saw a lot, did a lot, drank a bit of wine. Today’s breakfast was a scrambled egg with some leftover black beans and rice, topped with pico de gallo. A tasty final breakfast for a tasty year.
I hope yours was as good, and the same for the future.
Laura Lippman is doing her one-word resolution again. I cheated in 2013 and made three — focus, floss, finish. I accomplished two, which I guess serves me right. The hygienist was unimpressed, said I still had gum recession, and counseled an electric toothbrush. Well, OK.
So for 2014, a continuation of those three, and a new one, just one word: Prune. As in, to trim, to cut back, to pare away deadwood, to leave behind bullshit that isn’t working anymore.
We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I’ll see you around these usual haunts. Because this place, year after year, slump after peak, still works.
If you’re off today and tomorrow and looking for something to read, let me make a recommendation: This. Henry Allen was one of the first people I met in my professional career who made me say, “I want to be that guy,” and this essay, about his grandfather’s house in Orange, N.J., shows why. Not too long, a beautiful journey down memory’s potholed path.
Happy 2014 to all.