Here’s our New Year’s tradition. What’s yours?

New Year's Day lunch Last night, Rob and I closed out 2012 by making sushi and having a quiet evening at home. I’m not even certain how we started the tradition of making sushi at home for New Year’s Eve, but that’s what we do. This year was surprisingly difficult to find sushi grade fish in Chicago.

The first place that was recommended to us turned out to be twenty-miles away. So… we decided not to go there.

The second place was a Korean market that had everything else we needed but their fish selection was scant. We wound up buying a pre-packaged sashimi tray for the fish. It worked for our purposes, but we’ll need to find a better solution for next year. Suggestions welcome.

New Year’s Day however, that worked out exactly right. We swing from the Hawaii side of our marriage to the Southern side and have black-eyed peas, collards, and cornbread. With champagne and the good china, because that’s how we roll.

I invited a neighbor who hails from South Carolina originally and totally got the vital, vital need for beans and greens on New Year’s Day.

How about you? What New Year’s traditions do you have and did you get to follow them this year?

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17 Responses

  1. Curt Frye

    I’ve performed in at least one of the three ComedySportz New Year’s Eve shows for the last fifteen years…this year I played in the 7pm show. Ginny and I don’t really have any NYE traditions; this year was even tougher because she had a 9am call NYD as a stitcher for Book of Mormon. As freelancers, I guess our tradition is to work if we can.

  2. Mary Alice Kropp

    New Year’s Eve is always different. The BaldMan (the main cook in the house) makes a different dinner every year. This year, it was Asian inspired and all the recipes came from Ming Tsai’s One Pot Meals. All were delicious! And, although neither of us is Southern, we do like our black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day! This year, it will be with rice. And I am working to perfect a Bloody Mary recipe, so we had the latest incarnation for brunch.

  3. John Nakamura Remy

    Your celebrations sound downright cozy. Our traditional New Year’s foods include:

    From the Japanese side: mochi cakes, zouni (light stew), and shiruko (sweet red bean soup).
    From the Southern side: black-eyed peas and greens.

  4. Shelly Rae Clift

    New Years Day morning I like to watch the Pasadena Rose Parade over brekkies.

    I’d try whole foods for sushi fish–they seemed to have the best fish in Chicago.

    Happy new year Mary Robinette

  5. Joe Geronimo

    Our family closed out 2012 with what appears to be the making of tradition. A frigid evening here in Binghamton, NY as we reveled in the sights, sounds and smells of hockey. Thankfully hockey is going strong in our small slice of the world.

    Upon returning home victorious the battle lines were drawn in an old fashioned game of Monopoly. I had to chuckle, our ten year old son Max became a slum lord and bankrupted both his parents and older brother in true American Capitalist fashion.

    Midnight drew near as my wife and sons snuggled under blankets with the glow of our Christmas trees in preparation for the ball drop, however there seemed to be something missing. Something of tradition from my childhood. The sound of Dick Clark’s voice radiating over the airwaves was no longer.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Sally

    The husband and I stay home, sit on the couch, and eat junk food (potato skins, pigs in a blanket, mini corn dogs, mozzarella sticks), drink some bubbly at midnight. On the 1st, we have black eyed peas at dinner, which is often more of the junk food.

    We actually do Chinese New Year up much bigger, with a big restaurant feast.

  7. Marcus

    Was it Mitsuwa? The store is in Arlington Heights, so its a bit of a hike from the city, but they have sashimi grade fish. They’re also a pretty big Japanese/asian market, with a good bakery (try their anpans!), and several in-store asian restaurants.

    Don’t have any traditions for NYE, just play it by ear every year. Works some years, doesn’t others.

  8. Greg J

    I asked a Japanese American friend in Chicago for her recommendations for sashimi-grade fish. She wrote, “In the city, I’m not so familiar with the fish options. I would normally go to Tensuke in Elk Grove Village or Sea Ranch in Wilmette.

    “If those are too far, I would go for whole foods. I’ve never bought their fish for sushi or sashimi, but in general, their fish is pretty awesome. Also, Yelp is suggesting Joong Boo (Chicago Food) on Kimball.”

    Hope this is helpful.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      Thanks! Joong Boo on Kimball is where we wound up getting the pre-packaged previously frozen sashimi. Their fish counter was very small and the guy behind the counter said that they never had fresh tuna, only frozen.

      But I’ll check out Tensuke and Sea Ranch.

  9. Diane A. Kelly

    Back when Jim and I lived in Chicago, there were several fish wholesalers west of the Loop that would happily sell to the public. (I started going there to get fresh-but-inexpensive samples for class dissections, but the fish was so good we wound up going there regularly to get dinner fixings.) It looks like the Isaacson & Stein company is still there.

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