By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi
Last night I made homemade chicken soup, my daughter Anjelica toasted French boule bread, and we sat down to eat by candlelight, toasting the New Year with Prosecco laced with St. Germain liquor. I would have mixed us a French 75, but I could not immediately locate the cucumber infused vodka [New Year’s Resolution: Organize the chaotic liquor portion of the pantry]. After dinner, we feasted on our homemade biscotti, made with Anisette and whiskey, among other key ingredients. While munching the biscotti and imbibing more Prosecco, we watched the movie “Little Women”, the one with Christian Bale in fine pre-Batman “The Dark Night Rises” form. Later we viewed various contemporary musicians on the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve broadcast from Times Square. I thanked God I was not wedged in with those New York crowds. The overriding practical question I ask is, “What does a person do if Nature calls in that mob?”
Instead of eating Oysters Rockefeller at Midnight, we opted for chocolates. This New Year’s morning, after giving Fellini, Coco Chanel, and Anjelica’s cat Shelton Rae an extra helping of Fancy Feast Primavera White Chicken, I put together a Potato Basil Frittata, a` la the Barefoot Contessa, aka Ina Garten. For Capo d’Anno dinner, I am making Shrimp Scampi with Linguine, Swiss Chard, the ubiquitous “Swiss-a Charge” as my late Italian father called, and Prosecco, for it is, after all, New Year’s Day. Somewhere in between we shall feast on Oysters Rockefeller, just because [New Year’s Resolution: Continue to eat more seafood, particularly of the Omega-3 variety].
Before dinner, we are going to the cinema. This is rare for me since I am a Netflix aficionado, and I am too thrifty to spring for the price of a theater ticket. For live performances, I’ll shell out, for movies, not so much because there is so little to see of worth. Today, though, I promised Anjelica to enter the movie theater to see “Into the Woods”. Had NPR not given it a reasonably good review, I probably would have waited for its release on Netflix. While Anjelica has been on vacation from law school, we watched all six of “The Thin Man” movies, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. I purchased the box set of DVDs for our family Christmas present this year. Frankly, I do not think films get any better than Nick and Nora Charles’ comic, sexy sleuthing. In the same category of exceptional cinematic moments would be Peter O’Toole in practically anything, but particularly in “Lawrence of Arabia”; “The Ruling Class; and “My Favorite Year” [New Year’s Resolution: Push full-steam ahead with my novel writing and maybe even give screenplay writing a try].
No matter what is eaten, watched, yes, even football, or read today, I heartily wish one and all a protean Happy New Year [New Year’s Resolution: Keep trying out recipes in my two new cookbooks from my daughter and niece]!
Ciao for now.