Beautiful Endings. Beautiful Beginnings.

We hate to say goodbye, don't we? Ending something usually hurts. We leave a job, we end a relationship, a loved one passes on to another realm, and children leave home to marry or to follow a career path in other parts of the country or the world. Of course, as we all know, there's no new life, career, or adventure without that goodbye. It's a requirement for growth. We must let go of what we have to make room for the new.

Let's jump into the new year in style!

The transition from the current year to a new year is our best kind of goodbye. We celebrate it! We wave a cheerful goodbye to the now and often wish it good riddance (as in our Covid year) and we look forward to an improved new year. We toast to the potential of the new and build up our reserves of hope and inspired energy.

Today is the last day of 2022. Since 2020, we've learned more about Covid-19 than we've ever (in our lifetime) learned about anything. We have survived shutdowns and are learning how to live with this virus. We've had two years of adjusting. We're going to be okay. Let's all celebrate our survival, and let's open our arms to embrace 2023 as a year of beauty, of continued learning, and of finding ways to live in harmony with matter their opinions and beliefs. 

The wisdom of Seneca

But this is a food blog, so where's the food? This post is for all of my followers and friends who wait until the very last possible moment to plan a party or celebration. You can still find sparkling wines, all kinds of beer, and even non-alcoholic celebratory concoctions. Good news! Yes, and your food preparation doesn't have to be a chips-and-dip kind of affair. If you can gather your people and find a bit of time to shop, then I've got your back with just a few easy and delicious "no fuss" appetizers to get you from this year to the next.

But first, the cocktail. For me, it's a Negroni. I make four or five in a small pitcher. Stir with ice to chill, strain into the pitcher and set in the refrigerator until friends arrive. One large ice cube in a rocks glass and some of the Negroni over the ice. A slice of orange. That's perfection.

Pickled Shrimp Salad. Uses pre-cooked frozen shrimp. Recipe at the link.

Roasted Cauliflower and Muhammara Sauce. Surprisingly easy, and everything is waiting for you at your grocery store. You may need to substitute balamic vinegar for the pomegranate molasses, but that's it. Recipe at the link. I love this dish!

Fennel Freekeh Fritters. While you may have to get creative and substitute brown rice for the freekeh, these little fennel fritters will make you happy, and it worn't take you all night to prepare them. Recipe at the link.

And to enter the new year with renewed hope and inspiration, here are a few quotes that speak to me. I hope you can shape 2023 into the kind of living and sharing and giving that suits you. I hope that your situation improves. Follow that dream. Speak your truth. Be your most authentic self. Be realistic and pragmatic, but be wonderfully wild and without parameters also.


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