I am completely and totally in shock at how fast 2014 has flown by! These back-to-back holidays, with all of the families and parties and visits are killer, so we try to have a low key New Year’s Eve. Who wants to be out driving around with all of the crazies on the road, anyway?
Actually, one of our traditions at Halcyon Farm is to have a quiet dinner at home. Jonathan’s an amazing cook and is happy to putter around the kitchen making a simple dinner. We toast with our favorite fizz, which, right now, is Domaines Ott.
It is a light and smooth sparkling wine which, we’ve found, goes with a range of foods. Or if we’re having something that demands a heartier wine, we’ll serve the Ott with cocktails or dessert.
We like to stay close to home, as we have neighbors who are fond of shooting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve, which makes our dogs crazy. We’d rather stay home and keep them calm than come home to a house that’s been torn apart in their frenzy.
Another tradition for us at the farm is having a brunch on New Year’s morning for a few close friends. Again, Jonathan steps up to the plate, or the stove, actually. We start by serving some good strong coffee, followed by mimosas! It’s okay to use sparkling wine for the mimosas, and not the good stuff. The orange juice, especially if it’s freshly squeezed, can over-power the champagne.
One of Jonathan’s brunch specialties is a cheesy grits casserole. This is not for the faint of heart, or those wishing to start the new year with a diet. It’s filled with butter, grits and lots of cheese. If you can, order grits from some of the smaller mills in South Carolina; they will be so much better than something off the local grocery store’s shelf. And under no circumstances should you buy quick grits. It’s just short of a major sin.
Garden & Gun is a good place to find both resources for small-mill grits and fabulous recipes to use along with them. You will find all sorts of grits recipes, including cheesy grits casserole, which gets cooked both on the stove top and in the oven.
One more thing: it’s always GRITS, never a singular grit. Sort of like sheep.
Other items on Jonathan’s brunch menu are fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, plenty of bacon – as I mentioned, we’re not starting off the new year on a diet – and maybe some biscuits, rounding out the Southern flavor of the meal.
Naturally, there’s plenty of coffee and mimosas to keep everyone laughing and talking well into the afternoon. As the light begins to fade, our guests head off and we get a chance to sit and contemplate the day and then the year ahead.
From all of us at Halcyon House Antiques, and Halcyon Farm, we wish you a very safe and prosperous 2015. Cheers!