Mary's Dinner Clubs - New Year's Dinner
The preparations for the New Year’s Dinner started way ahead of time as the Goulash soup – a classic for Austrian New Year’s festivities, tastes best if reheated after a day or two. Then there was lots of washing the different kinds of lettuce, chopping of herbs and vegetables for the salads, marinating the pork for the warm rice noodle salad, and my favorite part: the baking.
I just did an online search for ‘Glücksschweinchen’ - fortune pigs - another tradition from my home country; I figured since it’ll once again be a small group of friends, it’ll be ok for me to call the (Austrian) shots. Oh and the fun I had shaping and baking those little pigs’ heads, bending their little dough ears this way and that, poking nostrils with a straw into their snouts, plopping little pink candy beads on the sugar glazing for eyes…. And besides being really cute, they tasted really great too as the dough called for curd and lemon zest which gave them a nice, slightly tangy touch.
Then I remembered something I had done several years ago for the 31st - baking bread in the shape of numbers to form the new year - great fun too for those of us who like baking. The dough turned out beautifully soft and elastic – perfect to be shaped into little balls. A nice idea of the recipe’s author: 13 dough balls for each number. Flavored with salt and cumin, covered in sesame seeds, it tasted lovely and will surely bring lots of good luck to all of us.
To finish off the old year on a sweet note, I came up with a ‘sinful’ dessert creation. I had left over gingerbread shapes from Christmas and found a parfait made with gingerbread crumbs soaked in Grand Marnier and cherry juice, then mixed with whipped cream and yoghurt and sprinkled with dark chocolate flakes. Mmmmhh – what a way to finish off the old year!
We started off the new one in style too, dancing at a local pub until the early morning hours and are now ready for 2012 to bring us all the good things we are hoping for – and that is not only food ;) Happy New Year everybody!
I’ll look forward to seeing some old and new friends for the next Dinner Club on January 14th for a Moroccan dinner – something a little exotic, light and flavorful to start into a new culinary year.
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