December 22, 2011

New Year's Eve

Sinatra and Dan Fogelberg on the stereo, vintage noise-makers waiting to be shaken sitting on the table, a split of champagne chilling in the refrigerator, and a crock-pot full of sweet-n-sour meatballs waiting to be eaten. Yes, just like Christmas and every other holiday or special occasion that I celebrate, I have a few New Year's Eve traditions, too.

As the girls have gotten older, they tend to make their own plans leaving David and I to curl up at home with the dogs and marvel at the lights and decorations for just a little longer. Sometimes we head to our neighbor's home early in the evening to wish them well and share a toast, and sometimes we just hang out in the living room talking about the year that's about to end. And a couple of years ago, I started a new tradition....a kind of take on the bucket list, if you will. It's called a what-I've-accomplished-so-far-but-still-want-to-do list. Catchy name, huh?

After writing out our bucket lists a few years back, I thought it might be fun to think about all of the things we've already done instead of fretting about the things we may never do. Then I thought we should add some silly, not-too-adventurous things to our lists that we both know we could accomplish if we really tried. Here's a glimpse of mine.
  1. Buy an Italian dictionary so I can prepare for my (someday) trip to Italy. If I don't make it, at least I'll be able to speak a few choice words to Cooper and Dante throughout the day quite beautifully.
  2. Try one new recipe a month. I get bored cooking the same old things, yet I never take a leap of faith and cook dishes I've been dying to try, like Boeuf Bourguignon and Coq au Vin. (I think hubby will like this, too.)
  3. End my day with music! I promised myself I would do this every single day, yet I don't. It's such a simple thing and I know it will bring a smile to my face.
  4. Resume writing letters to my children. Instead of sending my son a birthday card this year, I wrote him a letter letting him know how much I love him. I need to do this more often and just because.
Now on to the recipe for those meatballs...

Sweet-n-Sour Meatballs

2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 eggs
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 lg. onion, minced
1 can frozen grape juice
1 can frozen lemonade
1 Sm. can tomato paste

Mix garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and bread crumbs with the ground beef and mix well. Roll mixture into dime-sized meatballs. For the sauce, combine the grape juice, lemonade, tomato paste and onions into a crock-pot or large pan. Add meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes until done.

Growing up, I thought these were my grandmother's Swedish meatballs only to learn that Swedish meatballs taste nothing like this and the recipe came from an aunt's friend, and not my grandmother. It's always a good idea to ask the origin of "family" recipes.

Image unknown source, credit to the photographer