Happy New Year, team. I feel like 2017 will demand, among other things, my being alert and perpetually in an athletic stance. Good thing I love my sneakers.
And good thing we ate lots of black-eyed peas for New Year's Day. We can use all the luck we can get. Wyatt and I also ate bacon, because when you get right down to it, I'm a belt-and-suspenders type of person (who also likes bacon).
There's a lot to be said for starting the new year off with Conscious Intention and Healthy New Habits. If you pulled that off, good for you. We went the contrarian route. After sleeping in, Wyatt and I headed straight into the kitchen to try our hand at a new recipe for us: homemade Accara (West African black-eyed pea fritters) and Sosu Kaani sauce. I had made the sauce the day before, so it was fritter time. Wyatt was very helpful at removing all the skins from the black-eyed peas as we were preparing the batter. I am such a novice at deep-frying, but I did my best. And while the fritters were not as pretty as the ones Marc and I ate when we were in Accra, they tasted great.
After breakfast, I made a double-batch of Chocolate Zucchini Muffins to take to our friends' house for their New Year's open house. We spent part of the afternoon catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
Once home again, I made my annual batch of Black-Eyed Pea Soup, this year I cooked the peas myself (so much tastier) and also added shredded kale leaves. We ate the soup with our new favorite Gluten-Free Sourdough Bread from the recipe in My Darling Lemon Thyme (sourdough starter generously gifted to me by Maja), and cheese, too, of course.
And while 2016 was a stinker of a year on so many levels, we closed it out really well around here. We had early Christmas fun and adventures with my parents, and then spent Christmas Day with dear friends who shared all kinds of amazing, delicious, and entertaining traditions with us. We also feel we won the Yankee Swap/White Elephant Gift Exchange.
Last week, we played tourists in our own city, and took a visit to Coit Tower and North Beach. The murals and view are breathtaking.
We then got shockingly good last-minute tickets to the matinee of Cirque du Soleil's New Year's Eve performance of Luzia. The show was fabulous. Neither Wyatt nor I had ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show, but Marc had been to several. I was so inspired by the athleticism and strength of all the performers, and I was sure Wyatt must have been, too, so I asked him, "Which of the performers would you have been?" He answered, "Remember the guy that was dressed as a cactus and wore the goggles for part of the time? Him." I pushed a little harder, "Not the super strong lifeguard guy? Or the trapeze artist? Or the birds flying through the hoops?" He responded firmly, "No. The cactus guy. With the goggles."
My friend, Sara, shared the following photos of the performance with me. I was too busy being awed to take any. Believe it or not, she didn't get a photo of the cactus-in-goggles. Go figure.
And after the show? We went to a NEW YEAR'S EVE DINNER PARTY. All three of us! I know. Amazing. And we ate dinner, hung out, toasted with champagne and were home by 8:30pm. It was basically perfection.
I wish everyone fortitude as we find our new and improved grooves and move into January. And before I forget, if you eat chicken, you need to drop everything and go make this recipe for Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. Make it today, because it needs a day to marinate, and you don't want to wait even one day longer than you have to before eating this. It's one of the best things I have ever cooked, and Wyatt agrees.