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An unprecedented holiday season

Eggnog Pie

It was a Thanksgiving like no other … a Christmas unlike previous Christmases … and the New Year celebration will be unprecedented as well.

Most New Year’s Eves we have enjoyed a variety of performers at Saranac Lake’s First Night. Other years were spent with friends, at parties, or at church. But this year everything is changed by the virus among us. We will stay home, bringing in the New Year at our kitchen table, listening to music and watching our television with those in our household.

Even so, this New Year can still be festive and meaningful. The concept of starting afresh is an old one. We celebrate the New Year according to the Roman calendar; but there’s also the Chinese New Year and the Jewish New Year. Every culture has a New Year, a time of looking at the past and planning ahead. This is the time we enact change.

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a challenging time — a year of isolation, solitude and sadness. For many years, we took for granted hugs and kisses, spending time with friends and family, and grandparents playing with kids. Now, we have learned to be content in relative isolation, communicating mainly through technology — the computer and the telephone. This year especially, we’re looking for the day we can return to normal.

This is the time to reflect and reset.

Eggnog latte

It is our successes — not our failures — that motivate us. These don’t have to be spectacular; small steps are successes too. Celebrate them. Look at your accomplishments from 2020 and find the good. Did you establish new family traditions? We have started celebrating birthdays via Zoom — that way we can all be together, even if separated by distance.

We have an opportunity to create change — both individually and in our communities. See what needs to be better ­– then find ways to make it happen. Imagine the change — but make sure you’re ready for the shift, and your goals are realistic. Hope for a better future — and a vaccine that will allow us to come together again.

Celebrate New Year’s at home — and make it extraordinary. Cook a festive dinner. Make a special brunch. Bake a yummy dessert. Watch a memorable old movie. Listen to your favorite music. Watch the ball drop over Times Square. Make a toast or mix a cocktail to ring in the New Year. Raise that glass with renewed hope for good things in the year ahead.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

And never brought to mind?

Sparkling citrus mimosa

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

And days of auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne.

We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

(The lyrics to this traditional song of New Year’s remembrances are credited to Scottish poet Robert Burns.)

Eggnog Pie

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter

4 eggs

1 pint eggnog

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs; beat in eggnog, flour, melted butter and vanilla. (option: you can also do this in a blender).

Pour into prepared 9-inch pie shell.

Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350.

Serves 6 – 8.

Option: sprinkle 2/3 cup berries over the top of the pie.

Sparkling Citrus Mimosa

Ingredients:

About 1/4 cup lemonade

About 2 Tablespoons grapefruit or orange juice

About 1/3 cup champagne

Directions:

Add lemonade and fruit juice to chilled champagne flute. Top with bubbly; garnish with wedge of lime or lemon.

Serves 1.

Eggnog Latte

Ingredients:

1/3 cup milk

2/3 cup eggnog

1 ounce brewed espresso or very strong coffee

sugar or sweetener to taste

dash nutmeg

Directions:

Heat milk and eggnog (on stove or microwave) but do not boil. Add coffee to mug; add nutmeg; then hot mixture. Enjoy.

Serves 1.

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Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market,” Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Words Are My World.

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