Prepping for the Big Night

As 2013 winds quietly to a close, I once again find myself busily preparing for a yearly tradition around our house: our New Year’s Eve dinner.

Each New Year’s Eve, we gather with eight or ten friends and I make anywhere from seven to 12 courses, depending on how ambitious I’m feeling. It’s my time to let my creativity completely free — I never test anything, and I never make the same thing twice. Usually the dishes are a success, although my friend Jon complained last year of the chewiness and general meaty vulgarity of the Kobe beef tartare “flower blossoms” course. You can’t please everyone.

Last year's Kobe flatiron tartare “blossoms,” quail egg, curried ketchup emulsion, caper & pickled ginger mirepoix and fried parsley — doesn't look that bad, right??

Last year’s Kobe flatiron tartare “blossoms,” quail egg, curried ketchup emulsion, caper & pickled ginger mirepoix and fried parsley — doesn’t look that bad, right??

So also at this time of year, in the days before the New Year, I am consumed with shopping and sourcing. More

A Resolution Against Resolutions

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I’m not overweight, and I like the few bad habits I have left. Instead, I prefer to look back at the past year and consider some of the things I’m thankful for:

• That meat grown in sheets in laboratories is no closer to arriving on grocery store shelves than it was last year.
• That dinner guests have mostly stopped arriving at our house with red velvet cupcakes when I ask them to bring dessert.
• The fresh eggs my chickens give me every day.
• That Slow Food is gradually replacing fast food in the vernacular.
• That people (other than me) are beginning to cook with duck fat again.
• My new Weber grill, and my “Serious Barbecue” cookbook by Adam Perry Lang.
• That the restaurant, The Hump, closed after being caught selling whale meat.
• That my third child, daughter Imogen Pearl, was born healthy.
• That the midterm elections are over and I can once again enjoy my afternoon tea without being reminded of politics.
• That I was able to enjoy several lingering meals in my favorite brasserie, Anisette, before it closed its doors. Including a number with my 85-year-old father.

And to look forward to the New Year, and some of the things I hope for:

• The discovery that bacon is good for you.
• Inexpensive farmed truffles.
• A year-round Dungeness crab season.
• More studies proving the healthful benefits of red wine, coffee and dark chocolate.
• That people would eat less meat. And more ethically raised meat.
• A wood-burning pizza oven magically appears in my back yard.
• That you would introduce a friend or two to “Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise.” Our goal is nothing short of global domination, one palate at a time.
* That the people on earth who do not have enough to eat will be fed.

From all of us at Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise, wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and delicious New Year.