Monday, December 18, 2006


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!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

eggs benedict on a blog! what a lovely surprise to see a photo of one of my favorite dishes. how i wish my memory were as complete as yours and could recall the restaurant--and it had to be "out" of my first encounter.

impressive that your husband, a non-cook, mastered all that was required. did you ever know if he had been checking your recipe books for the sauce?

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I commented on this on your Benny Goodman post when I responded to your reference to the Totem Pole. Wow.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yummy! Almost want to reach through the screen and have a bite. I also LOVE Eggs Benedict. And what a nice thing for Dick to do....and it made for some wonderful memories all these years later.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's pretty impressive that he could come up with such a fine effort with no experience to draw upon.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought developing one's own traditions is the best way to go. Your husband was a smart man! :)



11:23 AM  
Blogger gawilli said...

What a cool way to start the new year, and even include some people who might otherwise be on their own. Sounds like a mighty good plan to me! Oh, and the eggs look delish!

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post, Ginnie! And what wonderful memories you share with us. I love it when new traditions are made & kept, and this sounds like a great one! :)

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really touched me for some reason. It was very sweet of your husband (and reminded me of mine) and I love that you could sit back and enjoy it. It also made me hungry for breakfast!

Ginnie, the Museletter I sent you got returned to me. Apparently, I had something off on the address. You'll get January's issue, but I'll resend this one too once I track down your address.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, the feeling is mutual!

9:18 AM  

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