Happy New Year

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As always, at about 5 minutes to midnight last night I tuned in to NBC to watch the ball drop in Times Square. As always, I said this to my son: "Someday I'm going to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square." This idea holds no appeal for my son, and I wonder why it appeals to me, since I'm not really a party animal. Maybe it's just because it looks like all the people there are having so much fun.

I heard fireworks at midnight; I have no idea where they were coming from. Are there fireworks on the mall in DC on New Year's Eve? I've lived in Alexandria since 1989 and I don't know the answer to that question.

I had a rare success in the kitchen last night. I made cioppino from a recipe I found online. I'd swear it was a "Barefoot Contessa" recipe, but I can't seem to find it on foodtv.com. I modified it a little anyway. I used fennel, shallots, plenty of garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, white wine, fish stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, clams, mussels, shrimp, halibut, crab meat, and, um, one bay leaf. It was outstanding. The house smelled like the ocean. The cioppino tasted like the ocean, in a wonderful way. I served it with a "mixed baby greens" salad with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (thank you Paul Newman) and french bread. Yum.

I had to buy a whole bag of mussels, and I have leftover mussels in the fridge. What to do with about a dozen mussels? I could steam them for lunch, I suppose.

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May 2009

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