HAPPY NEW YEAR … it’s EGGS BENEDICT time
My husband and I married in August of 1958. We looked forward to our first New Year’s eve together but Dick developed some very badly infected sores on his feet and he spent the night in bed with his legs elevated. He felt bad about this and promised that he would make it up to me in the coming years.
New Years eve of 1959 found us with a new born baby. We chose to stay home again, but Dick surprised me by starting a tradition that we kept up for quite a few years. We decided to do our celebrating on the 1st of each year instead of on the evening before and HE WOULD DO THE COOKING !
I was quite touched by this because the kitchen was definitely not his place to shine. He took it as a challenge and, after much deliberation, decided that we would have a noon-time brunch and would include new acquaintances that we had met during the year.
We were living in New York City and would often meet people who were new to the area or just passing through. This was a good “ice-breaker” for them & they were happy to be included.
That first year we had old and new friends and I believe there were 10 of us. I hadn’t asked Dick about the menu and he hadn’t seen fit to tell me, so I was a little anxious. He offered coffee and Bloody Mary’s and one of our male friends helped him do the serving.
It was an eclectic mix of people so the conversation was lively and we hardly thought about eating. Then Dick announced that he would have brunch ready in 20 minutes. He took re-orders on the drinks and then he and his friend retired to the kitchen with the door shut.
The next time they appeared they were carrying two large trays laden with hot rolls, butter and a large bowl of fruit compote. We were told to start in and find a place to sit...that they would bring the rest of the brunch to us individually. I was completely blown away when they did. Each plate that they served contained two perfectly cooked Eggs Benedict and 4 sprigs of asparagus. It was an elegant brunch and I couldn’t have done better.
This was the only cooking that Dick ever did, unless it was an emergency, but it was enough for me. I loved the fact that it was completely his idea and, despite the arrival of new children and new friends, he kept it up for years. It was a wonderful way to welcome in a New Year!