Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy New Year.... Happy Birthday!

     We have traditions for New Year's Day: Hop-N-Jon, greens, cornbread, and football. Granny had adjusted a Hop-N-Jon recipe to have stewed tomatoes, and I decided it needed a few more hog jowls. I grew up knowing the peas (black-eyed peas in the Hop-N-Jon) represent coins/ luck, and the greens represent paper money. I discovered more info after some research. Cornbread represents gold! If you really want good luck, you need to eat at least 365 days on New Year's Day (I'm assuming 366 in a leap year - yuck! Well, maybe if enough hog jowls are mixed in.) Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes mean wealth and health (Granny sure knew what she was doing!) Some people add a shiny penny to the pot before serving. The person whose bowl holds the penny receives the greatest luck in the New Year, unless, the receiver swallows the coin!

Granny (maternal) made shortbread every year for Christmas, and I remember Grandma (paternal) making kolacky some years. This year I made both, and appreciated the memories while indulging along with my french press coffee. Yummy!

     We also started the year out right, with a family friendly game of Risk. It was great fun texting back and forth to our Florida family who had bets on who was going to win ~ pink won!


 Today was perfect! Tim made some scrumptious Eggs Benedict! The last time I delighted in these were back in New York. What a nice surprise! No better way to start a birthday. It was a pleasant day hanging out with my guys, sharing Facebook wishes, and a few calls from family and friends. 
In the afternoon, the family was game for a trip to the movies, and everyone agreed on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty! What fun! Even the previews were great (Heaven is For Real (boy dies and experiences heaven), Million Dollar Arm (baseball pitchers from India), and One Chance (dream of being an opera singer); all the boys want to see them. Walter Mitty's life changes as he searches for slide 25. Although predictable (for some), it was entertaining and encourages one to live their life instead of just dreaming about it.

     The evening ended after dinner at Johnny Carino's (I got to sneak a few bites off of Tim and John's plates), and a delicious homemade Angel Food cake by Tim (I love that he uses Granny's (and Mom's for butter cream frosting) recipe! The candle holders are a great find from Restoration Hardware years ago. They're the same animal holders my mom used in our cakes as children. I have cherished using them in our sons' cakes, and Tim likes to have them appear on my cakes occasionally.... feeling blessed!

                                             ~ Jenny~

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