Friday, January 01, 2021

New Year, Same Old Me

Chalcedony Malachite wants to wish you a happy New Year. So do I! We got dressed up to stay in and by 11 PM we were in bed listening to the rounds of fireworks and ammunition being fired across the neighbourhood. Yeah, that's an American thing, though for the life of me, I can't understand the concept of celebratory gunfire. In the city. Whilst drunk on New Year's Eve. Some poor gentleman ended up in the hospital last night with what he thought was an injury from a random firework only to be told he had a bullet lodged in him. Anyway, I know how utterly bizarre this must sound to people outside the United States, and all I can say is, you can get used to anything after a while. I'm not happy about it, but this seems to be the way we've decided to ring in the New Year. Well, I didn't, because I was in bed. 

For fun I sprayed some colour in my hair and used a temporary tattoo liner to stamp some stars on my face. I rather like the idea of coloured streaks in my hair, so perhaps 2021 will see me getting creative with it. 
I made some lovely steamed bao type buns for dinner. They didn't fall apart, even if my shaping technique needs work. 

There's tofu, noodles, vegetables-all the good stuff. I made 16, and they ate all but one through the evening 😲. I've learned not to plan on leftovers. The following day I made Hoppin 'John, a dish of black eyed peas, celery, bell pepper, and onions. Served ove r rice it is supposed to bring good luck for the coming year. This is a southern tradition-I never saw Hoppin' John in Chicago or Boston, but my husband's dad came from Louisiana, and this is something he grew up with. Ideally, it should be made with a ham hock. Obviously, I didn't do that, so I used smoked paprika to simulate the richness and added a bit more olive oil for the fat.
Doesn't that look lovely? I used dried beans this year, because I had them, but tinned work just as well. 

Every year, the week after Christmas we have a tradition called, "Funny Foods Week." When Danny was small, it was a way to keep him from being sad after the holidays were over, and to teach him a bit about cuisines from around the world. The "Funny" bit, is just how things sound to a small child. So far this year we've had, "
Dan Dan Noodles, Callalou, Bao, Hoppin John, Dirty Rice, Blackened Chicken, and coming up we'll have Jollof Rice, Moi Moi, and probably some Pho. Obviously, there's no reason to continue doing this now that Danny is a teenager, but it does give me something interesting to cook. 

This was the blackened chicken and dirty rice (which is supposed to be made with chicken livers, but they both dislike them, so I left it out). 

Now that winter is truly here, I've brought out the quilted circle skirt from the 50s, and my Snowland boots from the 60s. I recently scored an identical pair but in brown, still new in the box on eBay for a tiny sum of money. I can't tell you how delighted I am about that. The boots are fleece lined and very, very warm. I can go out with stockings and be perfectly warm in them without additional socks. They also look better than any modern boots I've run across. 
Also bvrought out for winter is this faux seal coat.  I bought this coat in a thrift shop a few years ago and it was very dingy. I hand washed it, let it hang dry over a drain in my laundry room for a couple weeks (it is a very heavy coat) and then gently brushed it with a super-soft baby hairbrush, a bit every day until it was fully dry and fluffed up. It was quite a lot of work, but in the end I was left with a beautiful vintage coat for less than a tenner. 

Here's some close-ups of the Trojan War print on my skirt (signed Victor Malta for Associated American Artists textiles, 1953). It is a bit tight in the waist (post-menopause a 26 inch waist is but a memory) so I added a button extender to give me another inch and a half. I could take it apart and re-sew the waistband, but I so rarely wear it, that seems like more work than it is worth. I don't plan to pursue any weight loss goals in the New Year (or any year for that matter) so it is either button extenders or sewing. That, "New year, new you" nonsense? Yeah, I don't do it. I'm doing my best to stay alive in a pandemic, surely that will have to be enough. Anyway, you do what's best for you, but keep the diet talk away from me. I'll stick with the button extenders. 
Sleepwear/loungewear has been on my radar for 2021. I have quite a lot of it. 

As it gets dark so early now, it feels completely appropriate to change into a robe at 5 PM. I never think to photographs them, but I'll make an effort this winter as I have plenty of time. Yup, plenty of time. On, and on, and on. I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that it will be autumn at the earliest before America approaches anything close to "normality" even with a vaccine available. Our cases continue to surge, no one will implement stronger measures, and we continue careening into disaster complaining about our freedoms being restricted. As for the over ONE MILLION selfish bastards that travelled through airports over the holiday weekend...well, I don't need to say it, you're probably thinking it too. Right, so nice loungewear is about the only thing I can do at this point that brings me some comfort and happiness. That red robe in the first photo is pretty swell though-look at the apple detail with the tiny smiling worm poking out of it. 
Finally, this was my outfit today, for New Year's Day. Starting as I  intend to go on, I am wearing some thrifted vintage. A cheap 80s dress with a lace collar, a sash from another dress, some long necklaces, a brooch, and fancy shoes. 

Didn't leave the house, but I did pack the Christmas ornaments and put away the fake tree for another year. I did it early (I usually wait until the 6th) and I went ahead and switched out the Christmas dishes/china as well. In selecting which ones to use for the rest of winter (I have several sets of china) I went with my brown dripware, yellow stoneware, and peach lustre Pyrex plates and mugs. I'm happy with the combination of brown, gold, and peach-it has a nice 70s feel to it. 

I hope 2021 brings you good things. 



bahnwärterin said...

germans not much wiser - several young men lost eyesight, limbs and even a head by burning fireworks. or crafting them at home - the bespoke home is now a ruin too. if they could get their hands on guns legally the men overhang in rural country would be history.......
fancy evening wear matching the dinosaur <3 i was wearing a thick sweater and warm leggings and went to bed at 10 after we had two glasses of champagne - the rest of the bottle went down with the festive breakfast the next morning :-D
love the quilted skirt - and how you styled it this time! that coat is tres chic and was very worth the labour you put in it. oh - and the miss marple look! gorgeous!!
hoppin´john looks like something i could do for us (vegan style like you did) - but i would never attempt trying the buns - they look yummy but much to *advanced* for me.....
i was craving exactly that kind of chicken dish lately - without knowing your recipe.... i ended up roasting turkey breast in the oven with soy sauce and gyros spices - our local supermarked/butcher had no chicken at all that day. of cause we had rice with it - and fancy fresh asparagus & oyster mushrooms.
sorry for the longish comment.
stay safe - dear goody! xxxxx

Beth Waltz said...

Having struggled to restore antique fabrics in a museum setting, I am in awe of your faux seal coat. You did exactly what needed to be done -- and few would have the patience -- and reaped the rewards! I do hope that Victor Malta skirt is as unfaded as it appears in the photo, and I wish one could gift you a Calder wire necklace to wear with it.
Blackened chicken with a rice pilaf and crunchy broccoli is my idea of a feast. Just the thing to start off the New Year's "Funny Foods Week"! That, and a steaming pot of hot-and-sour soup. Please continue to set a good example for us, Goody, inside your kitchen and outside in the world that's gone nutz! We live in hope.

Vix said...

Happy New Year!
That Hoppin' John looks and sounds delicious. I love how you used to cheer Danny up with the exotic cuisine, you are such a top Mum!
The guns thing appalls me, as if fireworks combined with booze isn't bad enough.
I love that Victor Malta skirt and the coat is gorgeous.
We've never been arsed with New Year, this year was the first time in years we've actually drunk alcohol, we usually celebrate New Year's Day instead - now we just drink all the time!xxx

Polyester Princess said...

Happy New Year to you, Mr. ETB and Dan. And Chalcedony Malachite, obviously! No celebratory gunfire here, thankful, but there were some fireworks, although it was banned this year. I absolutely hate fireworks and do not understand the appeal at all. There was a fatal accident with fireworks here, luckily it was someone doing the actual fireworks and no innocent bystander or animal.
The steamed buns look delicious, and so does the Hoppin' John.
Loving the quilted circle skirt and I could do with one of those button extenders for some of my skirts as well.
As for the tree and decorations, I'm usually the opposite, wanting to get rid of them as soon as New Year is over. But much to my surprise, I'm not bored of it yet, so it'll stay until the 6th! xxx

Bibi Maizoon said...

Happy New Year!
Two firecracker related booms and a lot of barking dogs was all that was heard around here on New Year’s. We ate cold pizza in our long johns and ski caps watching movies on television. Yeehaw!
My dad’s from Louisiana too, we made a version with bits of andouille or thick cut bacon if the sausage wasn’t available. Trappey’s Black Eyed Peas with Jalapeños in the tin were a favorite fast side dish. (Sort of an East Texas/Louisiana theme runs through my dad’s family cuisine.) Nepalis eat blackeyed peas but Kashmiris (learned that the hard way.)
Do show us your 70s tableware! I had a similar nightgown with an apple and worm in the 70s from Montgomery Ward.
I’m going to keep my eye out for a pair of those Snowland boots, those look fab for the dry winters here.
Stay safe and Prospero ano!

Emily said...

Happy New Year!!!

Your bao looks so fluffy and delicious. Years ago, I heard that it's good luck to make hoppin' john the very first food you eat on New Year's Day, so I always make it for dinner on New Year's Eve and save a few bites to eat at the stroke of midnight along with some wine or champagne.

Inspired by your blog, I found a recipe for mushroom and ale pie on the BBC website and made it for lunch yesterday. I was quite enamored with the crust, and I may play around with the filling next time because it has a lot of possibilities.

Your faux fur coat is beautiful and you did a great job restoring it. Plus, it looks awesome with the outfit you paired it with.

Chalcedony Malachite is puffed up with pride, knowing full well that his vainglorious (greenglorious?) self is the inspiration for the green streaks in your hair. I love how he's featured so prominently in your leading photo. It's the cutest thing ever.

Congratulations to Dan for passing his driver's test!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

I thought we had gunfire in the neighbourhood at 8am on New Year's Day when some ejiit set off fireworks!

I love that quilted circle skirt; I bet it's warm and well done on scoring the fab boots. As for the faux seal coat it's simply marvellous!

I do like a nice long robe and think with fondness of my M&S velvet housecoat from the 80s; which I wore till it fell apart. I make do with fleecy dressing gowns and warm pjs now; but they don't hold a candle to that housecoat and my candlewick dressing gown from the 70s...

The Bao buns look delicious and I always wondered what 'Hoppin John' was. Thank you!

Happy New Year, Goody.

Señora Allnut said...

Happy New Year to you and family!, particularly to Chaldedony Malachite who is such a fab dino! and love the way her greentastic personality matches your dress and hairstyle!
Dear Goody, it still amazes me the multiple ways people (all over the world) manage to hurt themselves and others when 'having fun'. Fireworks are dangerous enough, and cause a lot of stress to people (and pets!), but they keep on firing them in any festive event here.
Love your steamed buns, and consider them really well made. I'm a huge fan of baos, but never tried to cook them at home.
The Hoppin'John sounds delicious, there's a tradition of eating beans/lentils as the first food of the year (for luck) in many countries, I think. But they are a fav comfort food anyway. I also use some paprika in my typical spanish beans, so nobody notice it's a vegetarian dish (no chorizo!)
Love the idea of a Funny Food Week to keep the mood high after holidays.
And your Trojan War skirt is one of my favourite things ever. Totally in love with this print and the quilted texture. Delightfully elegant, creative and Pure Art!. You Rock It.
The coat really deserved all that hard work and patience. Some pieces just need some love to recover all their fabulousness!. Looking gorgeous in this!
Some fab housecoats too. I've been in the hunt of some loungewear at my local charities, but had no luck. I'll keep searching!
besos & Feliz Año Nuevo

Goody said...

I've learned never to underestimate the stupidity of some people.
Your chicken dish sounds delicious-this time of year almost demands something warm and substantial. The buns were a bit tricky to roll, but otherwise not too difficult. Your New Year's Eve sounds like a good way to celebrate. Stay safe.

The skirt is in very good condition. The only repair I did was sewing back part of the hem that had fallen-not too bad for a piece that age. There's a woman on Instagram that restores old leather purses by washing them, re-shaping, and polishing them once dry. It takes her days, but they come out looking like new. I haven't been brave enough to wash any handbags yet, but it will have me seeing potential in bags I might otherwise pass by. It really drives home how much work goes into re-selling vintage from a restoration point of view.
I've never made or had hot and sour soup-that would be a good challenge.
Stay safe.

Drinking all the time sounds like a good 2021 plan for me, but I'm one of those people that's completely gone after two drinks.
Stay safe and I hope your lockdown goes easily.

All fireworks do is frighten pets and babies-I really don't see the point, but people seem to love them (rolls eyes).
Button extenders are great, and they come in various sizes. I don't know about you, but my weight jumps around and I don't want to be moving buttons that often! I hate sewing.
Stay safe.

I've seen Trappeys foods in the grocery, but always figured they were full of pork. I'll have to give the label a look next time.
Snowland boots are great-they're like Uggs but better looking and cheaper.
Have a great new year. Stay safe.

There's so many traditions for new year's about "Firsts" of the year. Scots have a tradition that the first man to walk through your door in the new year should have dark hair for good luck. I haven't made Dan wait outside and then re-enter after midnight.
The BBC website has some very good recipes, but they're basics, intended for people that don't have a lot of cooking experience. I'll be curious to know what you come up with. Given the choice, I think stout is better with mushroom fillings than ale, but that's just me.
I'm trying my best to stay calm with my kid driving but the temptation to reach over and grab the wheel is very, very strong.
Have a happy new year and stay healthy and safe.

Ever notice it is almost always a man setting off the fireworks? *sigh*
Hope the new year sees you healthy and safe and that the lockdown goes by easily.

@Senora Allnut
Happy new year!
I've heard that the eating of beans/lentils has something to do with prosperity-that it looks like a pile of coins? Who knows how these things get started. I bought several types of dried beans today at the supermarket-something about winter making me want to take the time with dried rather than opening a tin.
Stay safe and well.

Mim said...

Funny Food Week sounds splendid - though I think it's that most weeks in our house. With dan dan noodles I usually make several batches of the sauce at once and freeze a couple so they're always there if I want them.

The 70s dinnerware sounds like it's in lovely warm colours - like a hug in ceramic form.

Anonymous said...

If you are pudding people you could try the Spotted Dick we have in Britain. Funnier to adolescents than small children.