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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Home with the Cat on New Years Eve

It has been about 40 years since I declared I would never again leave the house on this holiday eve. The decision came after a miserable night out - long story you can read here if you really care.

But that doesn't mean I don't have my own ritual – small as it is.

I always have an evening meal that I otherwise would rarely indulge for either health or price reasons and I make certain I have a book I am eager to read. That's it. And early to bed.

My meals throughout most of 2013 have been, by some standards, austere as I shaved several hundred calories a day from maintenance levels to shed 30-odd pounds. It has been many months since I considered this vegetable-centric regimen a “diet.” It's how I eat now.


But not exclusively.

One meal a week (that would be one out of 21), I allow myself a serving of something that I generally no longer eat. Most frequently, that is ice cream - the high end, high fat, high calorie kind - or an excellent cheese (the high end, high fat, high calorie kind) or, less commonly, a meal centered around, for example, an excellent little rack of lamb.

Tonight it will be cheese - the exquisite, hard-to-find, blue Stilton that seems to be creamy (instead of crumbly) only at Christmas time. I'll have the freshest grapes I can find to accompany it along with a glass or two of nicely-aged, vintage port.

After that, I'll curl up in bed with Ollie the cat and the book I selected for this year - Kate Atkinson's Life After Life - which has garnered ecstatic reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

Atkinson is a brilliant writer – I've been a fan for a good while - and I've been looking forward to reading this since it was published in early 2013.

That's it for me. What are your plans this evening? Here's an elegant, little countdown video I found online to help get you in the mood for a new year.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Henry Lowenstern: Dog Walkers' Doggerel

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


I have no rituals, however personal, for New Years Eve; but Hunky Husband and I do indulge in sweet rolls for breakfast on New Years Day. We were first wed on 1/1/1958 and I make the rolls (with lots of pecans and raisins - NO cinnamon) using a recipe gained from a cook in our college town of that era.
Best wishes for the coming year to you and yours.

You're a woman after my own heart....there is nothing better than Stilton & aged port.

I have no rituals per se but will indulge in some food
delicacy otherwise budget-forbidden.
May you have a healthy 2014!

You've developed a sane AND sybaritic tradition, brava! You'll love Life After Life -- riveting, like all Atkinson's other books and with a great gimmick. Enjoy each moment, may 2014 bring you many more.

Oh, how I love my port!!!!!

Tonight was going to be my first New Year's Eve out in many, and I mean MANY, years, but I've come down with a nasty cold, so I'll be home.

Have a happy and healthy 2014 all!!!

For the wife and I it will be a Sweet Potato Bisque made from scratch (a first-time endeavor) and then some documentaries off of Netflix for the remainder of the evening.

We won't welcome in the New Year but we will wake to it.

Happy New Year to all.

Stilton & Vintage Port is such a Geschmacksexplosion, I do love it.
Staying home with a Fondue of Swiss Cheese and an evening of Big Bang Theory in TV, and a flue.
We toast with a glass of Cremant d'Alsace at midnight and think of our beloved late blackmink cat.

Your planned evening sounds lovely, the food, drink and Ollie as chosen companion. I just finished the Kate Atkinson book which I liked very much, you will too. All good wishes for a happy and healthy 2014.

My Parkinson's afflicted husband will be sleeping early, but our 8 year ok'd granddaughter and I will attempt to make it to Mdnught for a chocolate milk toast.

I will be spending with my daughter and granddaughters for the first time in years, if I can stay awake.

I don't know what they have planned; maybe fondue or an outing to watch the fireworks.

We've planned a little Italian food out then snuggling into bed with a couple of movies. :)

Tonight I will do the same thing as you do: eat some cheese and go to bed early with a book (or 2 as I like to switch). I positively love Kate Atkinson! Her books are funny, smart, with some melancholy.
Have a nice evening! Colette, Paris (France)

Sounds heavenly, and I have often managed to evade the invitations for New Year's gatherings, but this year I am going to spend a few hours at a small party one floor down in my apartment building with a 95-year-old woman, and whomever she invites. She is carefully planning gluten free snacks for me, as did my hosts at last night's bigger gathering. Such loving and considerate friends--I really can't tell them that I'd be happier at home in bed with a good book.Happy New Year!

6 month old Scotch bottle still has about 4 ounces left in it. Quite enough to celebrate release from 13's curse!!! I'm still a yippie hippie, in spite of it all.

Happy New Year, Ronni.

Your plans for yourself and Ollie sound wonderful and I hope you enjoy your book.

I'm sure I speak for all of your readers when I say we wish you a 2014 filled with happiness and good health.

Your plans sound wonderful! I too shed weight over the last year, the same way. Yes, our tastes do change.

And so, my husband and I will enjoy grilled fish, a glass of bubbly and a good movie provided by our sons, who have excellent taste in films.

Thank-you Ronni for another year of interesting, informative and fun posts. I join all of your many fans wishing Happy 2014.

New Year's eve is the pits. I can count the fingers on one hand the times I enjoyed this testament to forced merriment. Now I just watch a movie and try to make it to midnight.
BTW, I have lived in NYC all my life and I am proud to say that I have never been to Times Square on New Year's Eve.
Also, I wish I had your willpower regarding ice cream and cheese, two of my favorites (love that Stilton).

I look forward to your opinion of Life After Life. It's a different read for sure.

My husband of 36 years ( as of New Year's Day) and I will do what we've done for the duration of our very happy marriage. We'll eat something usually-verboten for dessert, watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight, pet our 2 beautiful cats and get a good night's sleep. I did more than my share of partying in my youth, and as of about 40 years ago have no regrets at leaving all that behind.

However, I've been, shall we say, undisciplined about food which has resulted in a gain of about 4-5 lbs. since T'giving. I got spoiled during our household move in September when I LOST 6 lbs. even while eating everything in sight. After my 77th b'day next week, it's time to get down to my desired weight once again. My usual "maintenance" menu based on salad with a little chicken or fish, fruit, whole grains and 1% milk is easy and it works.

We are going out for Mexican food with our son and I think we will have margaritas - a treat I seldom indulge in. Then it's back home for TV, the ball drop and snacks. Not terribly exciting, but enough for us.

No rituals other than a spotless house to enjoy and some good food. Hubby says he is staying up until the New Year arrives...we will see.

Haven't seen midnight for many years and will not start a new trend now. We are at home this eve with a meal I too will not normally consume and I too shed almost 30 lbs this year and now carefully daily monitor fat grams...but tomorrow I will begin to take down and pack away holiday things because I will be at home again on my liquid fast and then later preparation for my 10 year follow up colonoscopy appt. on Thursday...so I am eating cheese tonite too, crumbled bleu atop a New York grilled steak, hard rolls, butter and salad and baked potato. Hubby's meal of choice and since I must starve for a day, I plan to enjoy. Happy New Year.

I usually spend New Year's Eve with a friend. We eat pizza (usually a forbidden goodie), watch a movie and then, watch the fireworks on TV. But this year, alas, she is in the hospital waiting back surgery so I will skip the pizza. Even a small slice is too much for me these days. I am dreaming of a baked potato with the fake caviar that they sell at the grocery store, a glass of mulled wine and something from Netflix. I raise my glass to you and Ollie. Thank you for all that you share and may 2014 (the Year of the Horse) be a good one.

Hi Ronni,
Thank-you so much for this informative, uplifting and honest writing that you do for all of us. I look forward to it each day. We have no rituals for New Year's Eve really. We do treat ourselves to different and more foods than we normally eat. We watch a movie and sometimes TV. If it is late enough to see the ball drop-we watch that. Either way, we always stay in, put our two chihuahuas to bed and head for a restful night's sleep when we get tired.

Happy New Year! We love the Warren Haynes pre-Christmas jam, always re-broadcast on New Years Eve (WNCW FM if you are interested in jambands!) ... its a Carolina tradition that can be incorporated *anywhere* now that people can listen online. I really love the idea that even though people are as 'scattered" geographically as ever, we can choose to come together in these new ways technology has more and more possible. People now celebrate the old Western Carolina/Blue Ridge Mountain hippie tradition no matter where in the world they are. And I love sharing in that feeling.

Happy New Year Ronni and blogging friends. We are tucked into our New Orleans hotel after exploring Bourbon Street and having a quiet drink in our hotel. My husband took my photo beside a life sized statue of Fats Domino, who once played a gig in Montreal back in the day.

I'm reading James Frey 'Bright Shiny Morning" for the third time.

Happy New Year, Ronnie.

Thank you for another year of sharing information and entertainment.

Sounds like an enjoyable way to usher in the new. I gave the book a 4 on goodreads. Hoping you enjoy it equally as much. It was my introduction to Atkinson's work. I look forward to reading more of her work.

Thank you again, for blogging every day. I know how much time and effort that takes.

Wishing you a prosperous 2014.

It's two minutes after midnight here (St Paul, MN).


A quiet dinner at home with my husband. We usually stay in on New Years Eve. Nice.

Happy New Year, Ronni, and everyone!

Ronnie, your quiet celebration sounds marvelous. It is a tipping of the hat instead of a wild throwing in the air gesture, in hopeful recognition to all the year will bring.

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