News – “New Year’s Eve a chance to try new foods, traditions” – Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends in many places around the globe. Whether here in Midland or in a mountain chalet in Austria, the celebrations have always included lively conversation and good food.

I feel that there has always been so much to be learned during these occasions since people often tend to speak of family traditions and interesting events of past years. And the evening has often been an opportunity to try the foods and learn how others say good-bye to the old year and usher in the new one.

The first place I really remember spending New Year’s Eve far away from my parents was when I lived in Paris, France. I remember the decorations being rather simple but beautiful. For example, the trees along both sides of the picturesque Champs-Elysees (the avenue that leads up to the Arch of Triumph) were decorated with pretty white lights. Although it was chilly, the lights somehow seemed to add a special warmth to the streets.

That first year there I was lucky since my sister, Laurie, had travelled to France to spend the holidays with me. And my new friend from Denmark, Susanne, was my other special “date” for the last evening of the year.

New Year’s Eve in France is usually the time to spend with family and friends and the special meal can be indeed creative and may seem “fancy” to those outside of France. Dinner often includes quite a bit of seafood, such a smoked fish and oysters, along with “foie gras” (duck or goose liver pate) as well as bottles of real Champagne (true Champagne comes from an area of France called Champagne and has to be produced according to strict guidelines).

Since I really didn’t really have a huge kitchen, my contribution to the party we attended consisted of smoked salmon on a plate with finely chopped onions, lemon slices and thinly sliced baguette (French bread). It was a simple but followed the traditions for the evening.

Damn now I want some salmon…. hell just seafood in general.

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