Abigail and Madeline have been taking piano lessons for several years now and usually have a Christmas recital each year. We have found the recital dates and times to not always be the most ideal for our parents and grandparents to attend. The holidays bring full schedules with multiple events on everyone’s calendars. Plus, the evening performance time is challenging for the great-grandmothers who find it more difficult to be out in the night air. Therefore, I started a tradition of hosting a special “Grandparents’ New Year’s Luncheon and Piano Recital” in our home, providing a more convenient location and time for our honored guests. The girls still perform at their piano teacher’s recital but the grandparents get to wait and hear the girls play the same pieces at a cozier home recital planned just for them! It has become our way to welcome a new year with food, music, and loved ones!
Now having explained all that, I have to admit that this year was the exception. As I shared in my previous post, Joel’s birthday is on December 31. He has always been extremely supportive of my zeal for entertaining, but this year I told him that one of my birthday gifts to him was that we would not have company so there wouldn’t be a lot of cooking and cleaning on his birthday. The grandparents didn’t seem to mind at all; everyone was pretty tired and in need of some restful days after all the Christmas festivities.
Since we missed hosting this year, I dug up some photos from previous years’ gatherings.
New Year’s Day 2013
Pictured above are three of the children’s grandmothers: MeMe, BonBon, and our adopted grandmother Peach (we missed Nonie who was unable to join us that year).
I love to plan a menu and set a table! For New Year’s Day I try to fashion a fresh, wintry, woodsy feel for the table. The white table cloth serves as our blanket of snow (it’s the only snow we’ll see around here), topped with the greens and browns of our region’s evergreen pines. Icicles dangling from the chandelier add a glistening touch.
In keeping with our parents’ and grandparents’ long-time New Year’s culinary traditions, I include the customary pork, greens, black-eyed peas, and eggnog in our menu— but with a modern twist!
New Year’s Day Menu 2013
Black-Eyed Pea Dip with Tortilla Chips (Appetizer)
Pork Chops stuffed with Blue Cheese, Cranberries, Bread Crumbs, and Greens
Long Grain Wild Rice
Eggnog Pound Cake Cupcakes with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing (How’s that for a long name!)
After the meal, the girls perform their holiday selections. They also like to print a program for the grandparents. Really cute. And would you look at how my Madeline’s little feet barely touched the floor back then! Sweetness.
New Year’s Day 2015
You will notice that we were in our next house by this recital.
New Year’s Day Menu 2015
Black-Eye Peas and Kale Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and Cornbread Crackers
Ancho-Honey Pork Tenderloin with Cheese Grits
Bacon Collard Greens
Chai Eggnog Cookies
(Sorry, friends, I wasn’t blogging at this time so what few photos I have of the food aren’t the best. But it was really nice of Joel to load the dishwasher for me!)
A while back Joel commissioned Abigail to teach him to play the piano, so, after the girls played their selections at this recital, Abigail surprised Joel by putting him on the spot to play.
Below, our honored guests, from left to right:
Papa Melvin, Bon Bon, (Abigail), Nonie, (Madeline), Me Me, and Grandaddy (Our “Peach” was recovering from a serious illness and couldn’t join us last year, but I’m so happy to report that she was blessed with good health and happiness this year!)
Looking forward to our 2017 New Year’s recital next year!