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December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve Traditions

New_years_eve By Sarah

It's surprisingly easy to start a tradition. You do something one year. Everyone says do it again and so you do and before you know it, voila!, you're on your way. And though New Year's is supposed to be celebrating, uh, the new, it seems this holiday rivals Thanksgiving for traditions, from who holds the parties to what's served. (Shrimp cocktail and hot artichoke dip, definitely. Recipe to follow.)

Growing up in Pennsylvania, the New Year's Eve tradition in my house required my parents to traipseEdible_panties  up to the Lubrecht's for a very adult (drunken) neighborhood New Year's Eve party. The next morning, I'd awaken to find my parents uncharacteristically still asleep and odd items by the phone. Edible panties stand out. Why, my ten-year-old brain wondered, would someone want to eat their underwear?

Later, when I was young and single, I'd celebrate New Year's Eve in Philadelphia with my lifelong best friend, Lisa, who had the grooviest apartment in Rittenhouse Square. Once I went to New York, assiduously avoided Times Square, and could not get into my brother's apartment on Tenth Street because his brother in law was having a coke-laden party there. This meant my friends and I were forced to freeze on the streets between $6 cups of coffee until dawn. New Year's Day in New York is a religious experience. Empty. Wasted. Cold. Bare.

Personally, I believe New Year's Eve is a night to stay inside, off the roads and surrounded by the warmth of family or, in our case, the mayhem of kids. The new tradition in our house is to hold two parties - one for Anna's teenage girlfriends and one for Sam's ten-year-old buddies. The ratio usually runs 2 adults: 12 kids. Frightening.

Valium This year, Anna's throwing a dinner party with black olive pasta, lahsis and, for dessert, coconut and dark chocolate tartlets. Sam's friends will eat the leftovers. Or throw the leftovers. Or, worse, steal the desserts. They have swords and all sorts of weapons. I have Valium.

Yesterday, while shopping for some New Year's related items, I passed by a nail salon where women were lined up, getting ready for the Big Night.  I felt a tiny twinge of jealousy. Those New Year's Eve bashes at hotel parties in Philadelphia and New York were so long ago that I've almost forgotten the heady experience. Though I can still remember clicking down the city sidewalk in heels way too high and dresses way too flimsy for a frigid winter night, lipstick red, hair sprayed and sparkled, giggling uncontrollably out of nervousness and anticipation.

Then I went back to the task at hand - picking up the ingredients for artichoke dip. And earplugs.

Happy New Year's!


Artichoke Dip Recipe

Hot Artichoke DipHot_artichoke_dip

1 can of artichoke hearts
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut artichoke hearts into quarters. Mix Parmesan cheese and mayo together. Add artichoke hearts. Pour mixture into small baking dish. Bake until hot and bubbly.

Serve with crackers



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Beautiful, Sarah. I'm staying home tonight with the kids, despite three party invitations. Way too stressful finding a sitter, not to mention stuffing myself into that flimsy dress. I'm sending out my husband as the Designated Partygoer. I may, however, spray my hair and wear red lipstick all day.

New Year's Eve to me is staying home, watching all the "best (whatever) of the year" countdowns on TV, and hoping I can stay awake until the ball falls, kiss hubby Happy New Year, and go to sleep.

Scintillating, I know. But we like it.

Sarah! How deep was your horror when you discovered the implications of the edible panties?!

Happy New Year, TLCers!

Perhaps I should clarify, Laura - the edible pantie were "gag gifts" my parents had won. They were still in their wrapper, I swear. Though, come to think of it, I never saw them in the trash.....

And, yes, my horror was pretty profound.

Oh, for the peace and bliss of a quiet New Year's Eve alone with my hubby...

Happy New Year Tarts and Hearts of Tartness!

We are going to First Night downtown with the kids and having dinner at Mortons. Most people go to Mortons for the steaks. Not me - I have two apps and the Chocolate Souffle - the best anywhere. Cannot wait!

Pittsburgh is a fireworks town, and we're having two sets tonight - one at 6 for the kids and one at midnight for those of us who are still up and out then.

Friends are performing at different venues downtown - if your city has a First Night celebration, check it out - no booze on the streets, so it's kid friendly, and lots of cool stuff going on - ice sculpting, dancing, music - good times.

Happy New Year!

Let's hope 2007 is a Year of Peace.


P.S. Sarah - if my mother had ever even seen edible panties, I think it would have been equivalent to the opening of the Seventh Seal. Your parents had fun friends!

Oh. Thank God.

I just found out my boy Chris from American Idol is performing on Fox tonight, so I think I'll have some cocoa with Bailey's and go try for a nap. Maybe that will help me stay up long enough to at least see him.

Oh the Holiday!
Tonight we'll ring in the New Year with a dozen dear friends....all gay couples in black tie. I am wearing my ivory satin pants and a top with sequins. Sensible shoes required as we'll be on a houseboat owned by one of the couples and watching the fireworks from the Allegheny River. The food's to die for which is attractive to me as the designated driver.
May you all have a health, happy and profitable 2007.......that's where I'm headed too!

Love and modified joy, mary alice

Hi Tarts and Tart Friends -- I missed you all while I was without internet access! I skipped out of Vegas just in time to avoid the true insanity of New Year's Eve. People were pouring into the airport as we were leaving. Even a great party can get too crowded, which is why in all my years in NYC I never once rang in the New Year in Times Square. I'm going to a couple of neighborhood parties tonight and giving one tomorrow. (Yeah right -- hoping I can pull that off since I got in at 3 am last night. I'll be relying heavily on those mimosas again!)

Great blog, Sarah, and happy 2007 to all of you. XOXO.

I'm an inveterate New Year's Party Pooper --I've only seldom been able to stay awake that long, or had a compelling reason to do so. My favorite New Year's day memory is visiting a friend in San Francisco and finding a woman's bright red, pointy-toed, high-heeled pump perched carefully on the seat of a motorcycle. Must've been a helluva party, that.

This year we'll have an early night as my husband and I will, most unfortunately, be getting up at the crack of dawn to take my daughter to the airport so she can attend her grandmother's funeral in California. If any of y'all can spare her a few thoughts, please do -- it's going to be a rough trip for a number of reasons.

In the meantime, though, thanks to all of you for making 2006 bright and merry all year long -- and here's hoping for a bright 2007!

New Year's Eve down this way is known as "Amateur Hour".... I attended one big city-wide celebration back in 1983, my first NYE in Houston. People in cars drove down Richmond Avenue (think Hollywood Blvd. or Sixth Avenue) firing guns into the air.


Live ammo.

In the air.

That's when I retired from New Year's Parties. Last time I was awake to ring in the Big Moment was Y2K. After flipping the satellite over to New York and seeing Times Square intact, and seeing Paris was still standing, I gave up and went to bed.

Happy New Year to One and All!

The first New Year's that I stayed up late, my brother and sister were home from college and my parents were...stuck with me.

Mom made clam sauce while Dad and I watched Guy Lombardo. We celebrated watching the ball fall and then Dad pulled a loose tooth from my head.

I remember watching the glamour of Guy Lombardo's night club and I always wanted to attend something that glamourous. I never did, for some of the night clubs that I have been to as an adult never matched my imagination.

My best memories of New Year's was with my family, without edible underware.

There are too many, not enough handicapped parking spaces in our city

Sexism is, is not a problem in society

My mind is like a complete blank, but so it goes. Basically nothing seems important, but I guess it doesn't bother me. I've just been letting everything wash over me , but pfft. I haven't been up to anything. Such is life. I can't be bothered with anything.

My life's been basically bland recently. I can't be bothered with anything recently. Pretty much nothing seems important. I've basically been doing nothing worth mentioning.

animals don't belong in zoos

I feel like a fog, not that it matters. I've pretty much been doing nothing , but eh. Today was a loss. I haven't gotten much done for a while.

We are killing the rainforest

Blame the parents of a murderer parents for the crime

Children in ... fill in the nation of your choice ... are living better

Help the homeless down the street and persuade them to look for work

An integrated, segregated society is better

An integrated, segregated society is better

arranged marriages should be, should not be outlawed

Power to the people is, is not a good idea

Help the homeless down the street and persuade them to look for work

Babysitters younger than 16 years should be forbidden

It is never okay to lie, sometimes okay to lie

Abortion should be, should not be kept legal

Not much on my mind right now. Today was a complete loss. So it goes. I've just been sitting around waiting for something to happen. I've basically been doing nothing , but I guess it doesn't bother me.

Live with your lover before getting married

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