We spent a quiet New Years Eve at the kitchen table of our friends, Brennen and Leah. There we played card games and backgammon around small plates of balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, stuffed mushroom and miniature pot pies. We had beer and champagne, Swedish cinnamon rolls and at midnight, fresh doughnuts straight from the fryer. Cozy times.
On the first day of 2012, we drove to Carrolton, Kentucky to hike the Fossil Trail at General Butler State Park. The wind that day was mighty but the forest's shelter kept us from blowing away. As the trail bent along the side of the ridge, we found ourselves in sun-dappled grasslands and wooded ravines. We were creeping through the winter homes of the several dozen deer we spotted along our 5 mile trek. When Mule, our old hound, caught the scent of a deer, Kurt would whisper permission and he'd barrel through the forest after them with more hustle than we've seen him muster since summertime. Harold didn't seem too sure of what they were chasing, though he galloped right beside Mule, equally excited. We'd watch the herd scatter up the ravine, their white bushy tails bouncing high. Mule lived his wildest dreams that day, I'm sure of it.
No New Years Day is complete without a big pot of Hoppin' John simmering on the stove. Black eyed peas on New years Day will bring us good fortune, so they say. I'm not a big believer in superstitious juju of that sort, but it sure is delicious.