Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 IN ICE

 My icy bedroom window

My new year wish is that all the global warming enthusiasts will freeze to death.

I just heard the frantic scurry of offended enthusiasts fleeing from my blog.

I awoke this morning (after an hour of sleep) and tried to look out a window, but it was glazed in ice. The temperature on New Year's Eve dropped faster than the Times Square ball. It was two (2) degrees here on the mountain just after midnight.
Fortunately the clocks didn't freeze. Yet.

 Are we supposed to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for luck?
I hate black-eyed peas and they will never touch my discerning lips....
....which is probably why I'm plagued with bad luck and my pathetic life is in varying degrees of utter chaos.

My New Year's Eve was uneventful and quiet (and frigid). I had planned on having an herbal roasted chicken dinner at midnight but was too lazy (and cold) to make it. So I had fish and chips instead.
I plan to have the herbal chicken tonight. With stuffing, potatoes, green beans, and sweet potato pie.

My present isolated New Year's Eves are a very far cry from the ones I used to know. I've never liked big NYE parties, but I always had small gatherings or intimate midnight suppers. I loved to cook - - when I had people to cook for.

I almost always had the same menu every New Year's - or similar variations:
winter fruit salad, smoked or pickled herring, smoked oysters, salmon, kolbasz, rye bread, assorted cheeses, Russian deviled eggs, assorted Italian olives, Hungarian potato pancakes with sour cream (burgonya palacsinta, as my parents called it), and lots of other delicious food.

And always Le Domaine extra dry California champagne. It was my very favorite (for the memories it evoked).

For dessert I always made a chocolate cheesecake and a white layer cake, and sometimes a Bavarian chocolate cherry cake with real whipped cream (that always took a lot of time but I loved it).

I yearn for those past glorious New Year's Eves, and often lament at how far I have fallen from grace.....

But enough of my memories. Here are a few recent photos.

 Sunset on New Year's Eve.

Early morning on New Year's Day

 Tree with pine cones and neighboring mountain.

My cat Scruffy this morning, being a wise guy. She loves to climb on places where she doesn't belong - and that's how she always winds up breaking things (see my previous post).

I deeply regret painting that old wicker bookcase yellow - but it's too late.

Ironically, my cat Scratch used to climb up on the same bookcase (when she was younger). I had a photo of her sitting up there but can't find it.
The closest I could get is this photo of her sitting near it.



  1. Happy New Year Jon! Scratch makes quite the piano knick knack!

    I usually have a intimate dinner on nye, but this year was arm twisted into doing something different. I also had extra dry champagne which always does the worst things to me. The only constant thing between being away or here at home....I still awoke between two guys??? was cold...what better way to double up on heat.

    1. My arm hasn't been twisted in awhile, but when it is I always seem to get into trouble. I can attest to the fact that waking up between two guys is better than waking up between two cats...

  2. Jon now you know what your problem is. You better fun down the hill to buy a couple of cans of black eyed peas. I think my can was left from last year.

    1. I'll have to buy some the next time I go to town. I hope it's not too late...

  3. What mouthwatrering meals you used to make. they sound delicious. scruffy looks like a wise guy indeed. I hope nothing broke on the shelves when she jumped off.

    1. I always had fun preparing meals for New Year's Eve and - who knows - maybe I will again some day.
      I'm wondering how the heck Scruffy got up there in the first place. It really surprised me (to say the least).

  4. I never heard of eating black-eyed peas for good luck. Sounds like you were quite the cook--probably still are if the occasion arose to entertain. ;)

    Very cold here, too. We've had wind chill warnings for over a week. It's warmed up to -1 degree, though. Says feels like -25 with the wind. I believe them. I'll have to bundle up to make my way out to the garage for more bird seed today. ;)

    Happy 2018!! :)

    1. I think that the black-eyed peas New Year tradition is mostly a southern one. It was very prevalent in Texas - - not so much in Tennessee (so far as I know).

      I can certainly sympathize with your frigid plight way up in the north. It got down to minus 5 here last night and the daytime "high" is in single digits. I'm presently wearing three layers of clothes.

  5. Hi Jon - that's unpleasant having your bedroom window all frosty. Maybe you could get one of those electric heaters which sit on the floor and look like mini wood stoves. They heat up a room quite nicely and they're not really expensive.

    Rye bread, Russian deviled eggs, olives, Hungarian pancakes ... everything sounds terrific. My mother used to make some of the same foods and I recall putting a big dent in the Russian deviled eggs before she even served them. I still love them today.

    Just got back from a short vacation. Did some snowboarding since I have to make use of my season pass. It was colder than usual ... brrr, frigid temps for sure. Oh, and a tourist bus filled with Asians lost control on the way down the snowy mountain road somehow landing upside down in deep powder. No one seriously injured we heard, just frozen while they had to wait for the rescue party. A tourist bus ... seriously stupid on that road in winter.

    Happy New Year, Jon ... may it treat you kindly.

    1. When I lived in the Missouri Ozarks the windows and doors used to often freeze shut in the winter. I used a hair dryer to thaw them out!

      I love all of the food that I used to have on New Year's Eve - - especially the deviled eggs!!! I couldn't get enough of them

      It's definitely not a good idea for a tourist bus to be navigating on dangerous winter mountain roads. It's surprising that no one was seriously injured. Snowboarding sounds like fun (I never tried it), but I'd probably wind up annihilating myself.

  6. I had to share your (former) menu with my husband last eve ... being of Eastern European descent, he was practically salivating. Me, I'm curious what the heck are Russian deviled eggs. Perhaps you could take up catering for the rich folk down in Big City.

    To tell you the truth, I can't stand black-eyed peas either. Unfortunately, I totally spaced buying a can this year, and now if anything untoward happens, you know I'm going to blame it on the missing peas.

  7. I hate black-eyed peas and never had them for New Year's - which might explain why my entire life has been a disaster.

    There are many recipes for "Russian" deviled eggs. The annoyingly non-Russian ingredients often include horse radish, Worcestershire, and hot sauce.

    My own recipe for Russian deviled eggs includes dry mustard, mayonnaise, fresh bacon bits,and generous shots of red wine vinegar to make it good and tangy. And I sprinkle them with - - gawd forgive me - Hungarian paprika.

    The deviled eggs can be served with Caspian Sea Classic Ossetra Caviar - if you can afford it.
    Domestic caviar is (somewhat) cheaper - like Black Bowfin Roe.

    But they're damn good without caviar.

    1. And if you don't have fresh bacon bits, you can cheat and use the artificial ones sold in stores (not as good as fresh, but what the heck...).

  8. Jon, my mother was from Oklahoma and always served black-eyed peas on Jan. 1st. She got my wife doing it, so I've had 68 years of black-eyed peas --and their excretory effects on Jan. 2nd. I will mercifully draw a curtain over that Southern tradition and praise your excellent photos. Have a good new year and stay warm.

  9. I think it's all a secret ploy from the black-eyed peas companies - because they can't sell them at any other time of the year.

    Last night the temperature dropped to MINUS FIVE. You're lucky to be in California.

  10. I guess I'm in the minority. I love black-eyed peas... sometimes prepared with onions, potatoes chunks and bacon. YUM! But I don't know if we've ever eaten them on New Year's Day. I think collard greens or some other kind of greens is kinda traditional fare, too. The peas represent coins and the greens paper money. Supposed to lead to a year of prosperity or some such thing. We ate lobster rolls. :)

    1. AHA!!!!! It's the bacon and onions that make black-eyed peas tasty. Don't ever try to eat them without it (sorry - I'm just being a bitch).
      I had no idea about the representation of coins and paper money.
      I love lobster rolls!

  11. Cold, cold, cold! Now we're preparing for a nor'easter ("bomb cyclone") tonight. Hope it passes us by. I can imagine how could you are up in those mountains. Black eyed peas, I never had them. Actually I never had a New Year's Day dinner, ever. I like peas and beans though. You're living dangerously with cats and "things" on your furniture. I wouldn't take the chance. You're braver than I would be. Love you photos!

    1. Ron, it got down to MINUS FIVE last night. This weather is insane. And it's snowing in Florida! Ironically, one of my cousins recently moved there to get away from harsh winters.

      I can't seem to keep Scruffy and Bosco off of things - unless I tie them down ...or sedate them. I'm a nervous wreck. I've hidden my valuable breakables. Stay warm and keep away from ice!!

  12. I can just see Scruffy is the kind of cat that breaks things. cats that don't break things don't sit in places like that. If I had known you could cook that kind of stuff I'd have invited you here to London for new year ! :)

  13. Oh, by the way I love the snowflakes background. Happy new Year


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