CELEBRATING NEW YEAR’S EVE!
A time to look back on the passing year and generally take ‘stock’ as well as looking forward to the new year approaching. New Year’s Eve means different things to different people. Before covid entered our lives, parties & celebrations were the order of the day, a happy way to speed the old year out and the new year in. Many traditions are involved in the New Year’s celebration, one of which is the singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
The words and music of Auld Lang Syne have evolved over the years. Although the song has often been credited to the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, he never claimed to have written the poem or compose the melody but was inspired by someone singing it. The best translation of the Scottish words are ‘for the sake of old times’.
The traditional melody of the song is rarely heard nowadays and is more folkish. The version we’re familiar with dates to 1929. It was Guy Lombardo, the Canadian born bandleader that helped make Auld Lang Syne a New Year’s Eve tradition in North America. His band, the Royal Canadians, played the song at the turn of the new year in a series of popular radio (and later television) broadcasts that began on December 31, 1929 and continued for more than 30 years. This musical tradition is still sung all over the world, evoking a sense of belonging and fellowship, tinged with nostalgia.
Until I researched this songs history, I didn’t actually know the English ‘translation’ of it. This is what I found it to be:
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely, you’ll buy your pint cup! And surely, I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes and picked the daisies fine; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine; But seas between us broad have roared Since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give me a hand o’ thine! And we’ll take a right good will draught, For auld lang syne.
So here we are, with a new year just around the corner. As a farmer’s daughter, I still hang on to the mind set of my father and that was, that next year will definitely be better.
I am posting a couple of little hors d’oeuvres you might enjoy if you are bringing in the new year at home with family.
Mushroom Leaves & Olive Straws
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using a holly leaf cookie cutter, cut 18 leaves from thawed puff pastry. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while mushrooms cook.
In a skillet over medium-low heat, heat olive oil & add the shallot & salt. Sauté until beginning to brown & caramelize. Remove the shallot to a bowl & set aside.
In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil & sauté mushrooms until tender & moisture has evaporated. Add garlic, thyme & pepper; sauté for an additional minute. Place in the bowl with the shallot. Stir in the cheese.
In a dish, whisk egg & milk. With your finger tip, moisten edges of the pastry leaves with egg wash. Put a tiny bit of mustard in the center of each leaf.
Divide mushroom/cheese mixture between leaves. Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Serve warm.
On a lightly floured work surface, unfold 1 (10"x10") sheet of puff pastry. Roll pastry with rolling pin to increase size slightly (about 1/2 -3/4-inch. Cut the sheet in half.
Place about 10 olives, end to end in a straight line across the pastry starting about 3/4 of an inch from the edge. Repeat with 2 more rows, leaving about the same width between each row.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Brush egg mixture on all exposed spaces between olives. Cover with the other half of the puff pastry, pressing the whole surface of the dough between the olives & outside edges firmly with your fingertips. Transfer to refrigerator; let chill 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Using a very sharp knife, trim edges of dough; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide straws. Lay flat-side down on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until pastry is golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer straws to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. Yield: 24 olive straws