The sky outside is darkening, and the sun is setting on 2007. Somewhere in the quiet of the night, in the split second before the bells chime, champagne corks pop, and people cheer, one year will melt away, and a new one will begin.
I love new year. I love the potential and promise, plans to be made, diaries to be filled first with appointments, and then with memories and thoughts. I like to see in the new year, preferably with a glass of something cold and bubbly, and with people I love about me. For a few years now, as with this year, we will go to visit some dear friends, have a delicious dinner, each play our song of the year, then write out our hopes and predictions for the new year, and read those we made last year.
I like to put on a party dress and spray on my new perfume, but I don’t like all the razzle dazzle of a big party. I think new year is personal, somehow. We all have reflections to make, people to think about- new friends, old friends, family, people we have lost, or are loosing, new friendships that are just beginning. Hopes and dreams realized or dashed, or sometimes just faded away.
Tomorrow, I shall be turning out my cupboards in the kitchen, always a good way to start the new year in my opinion. Then I shall go online and order all manner of nourishing and nurturing goodies to be delivered to restock them. I like the peaceful bliss of knowing I have good, healthy, wholesome…..soulsome…food in my cupboards. Ingredients, again, the potential for so much that is good.
If you find in your own cupboards
125 gms butter or margarine
175 gms castor sugar
2 large eggs
175 gms self-raising flour
2 lemons, preferably unwaxed
60 gms granulated sugar
then you have the ingredients to make the Luscious Lemon Drizzle Cake that I made for Carl’s birthday.
1) Tie on your prettiest apron, and put on some happy music.
2) Preheat the oven to Gas 4/180 oC and grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.
3) Cream the butter and sugar together until they are soft and fluffy.
4) Beat in the eggs.
5) Fold in the flour.
6) Stir in the finely grated rind, and juice from one of the lemons.
7) Bake for about 30 minutes.
8) Whilst the cake is cooking, remove the peel from the other lemon with a zester, and mix with half of the granulated sugar.
9) Squeeze the juice from the lemon and put it in a small saucepan with the other half of the granulated sugar.
10) Simmer for about 3 minutes until syrupy.
11) Prick the top of the cake with a cocktail stick, then drizzle over the syrup.
12) Scatter the lemon zest and sugar over the top, and allow to cool.
13) If you have some in your cupboard, sprinkle over a little edible glitter. And if it is for a birthday, add a single cake-decoration-sparkler in the very middle.
In previous years, I have made targets for the new year, rather than resolutions. This year, I chose just one, to nurture myself. I think I have done well overall, but to be honest, I find having targets just a bit more fun. Also, they are easier to reflect upon.
I shall think of more tonight, no doubt, as I close my eyes and see a cloud of champagne bubbles, but for now, these are some of my targets for 2008:
Learn to mix a mojito
Use my new pasta machine
Write more letters
Keep a book journal
I must say goodbye now, because I am off to the hospital to visit Dad. It is strange, sitting there, not really knowing what to talk about. Wishing you could make it all better. I try to always make some kind of skin on skin contact, a hand squeeze here, there....because I think that if anything goes in, perhaps that will be it.
The difficult times have been made easier with your kind thoughts and wishes, and the good times have been a delight to share. May you all have a wonderful new year, and I look forward to sharing 2008 with you!