New Year's Eve is a treasured time of reflection. To celebrate the year's accomplishments and to look forward to the possibilities the new year holds is a catharsis, to say the least. Yet, when it comes to resolutions, some people may prefer setting positive intentions, rather than drafting to-do lists, which may or may not pan out six months into the year.
If you're planning a party, it just so happens that you can use the Thermomix® to get your intention setting off to a warm and tasty start with soups simmering and plenty of bubbly in the fridge. With Thermomix® the literal stirring is minimum, leaving ample time for the proverbial sentiment.
The key to a successful party with meaning is all about balance. By tempering the deep stuff with a lively round of board games, a healthy dose of Netflix, or a DIY home spa treatment, January 1st will be less about nursing a hangover and more about beginning the year loving on the most important person—YOU. As auld lang syne is upon us, you can plan your very own version of this tradition with these tips.
Limit the guest list to your closest circle.
Ringing in the new year with people who matter most in your life is the best way to set a purposeful intention. There are just certain things you wouldn’t necessarily share with your dry cleaner that you would with sisters from other misters. Once you’ve decided upon the ultimate guest list, skip the post office lines with free sites like Paperless Post where sending invites via e-mail is a breeze. Most sites allow guests to post images and videos from the festivities. Also, encourage invitees to post their favorite flicks on the messaging feature and include details such as “pajamas required."
Plan for pajama Perjury and set the stage.
In case someone forgets their pajamas, wash up a few fun jammie sets and load up a basket by the door. Once your guests are all set with appropriate attire, let the fun begin. Offer mini-spa treatments, such as a sugar scrub by the bathroom sink or a basket of fun nail polish colors on the coffee table. Choose from your guests’ movie picks a few favorites to put in your Netflix queue. Same goes for your Spotify playlist. If your party is a kid-friendly party, set up a separate party room for kids.
Pajama parties are certainly for kids of all ages. But, let’s face it. Not all ages celebrate in the same manner. Netflix offers a litany of countdown choices that the kiddos would dig under a perfectly constructed pillow fort, while the grownups clamor for more cava. In keeping with the soup menu, grilled cheese and tomato soup is a solid combo for the wee ones.
Even though the Thermomix® allows for easier preparation, soups are usually best the second day. Premake the soups during the days leading up to your party, which will keep you out of the kitchen during the actual party. Take advantage of the Thermomix® controlled heating function, which incorporates integrated sensors within the mixing bowl. This will keep your soups hot without the risk of scorching. You may opt to course out the batches of soups, or serve them as a flight. Or even better, set a soup buffet so that guests can serve themselves as they like. The name of the game is to keep it simple.
Stir the proverbial pot.
“Auld Lang Syne” was actually a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 which translates to “a long time ago.” This is where the reflection part becomes the real “meat” of your party. Have pads of paper and pens handy so guests can write out the parts of their previous year, which might need to be forgotten and can be thrown in the fire or shredded like a Bansky painting. Once the past is put in its rightful place, on those same pads of paper, encourage guests to write out their notions for the new year. They can hang onto this slip of paper for a reminder throughout the new year. Who knows? The next pajama party may come along and “all grief and sorrow takes the flight, and speedily is gone,” as the song goes.
Wake up on New Year’s Day with black-eyed peas.
Nothing beats starting out New Year’s Day with a classic pot of black-eyed peas and greens. The legacy of this lucky legume, also known as cowpeas, comes from many cultures. In the South, the story goes that cowpeas were considered animal food during Civil War days. When General Sherman’s Union troops were raiding the pantries of Southern homes, they would take everything but the lowly cowpea. A Southern family could survive many cold nights on this meager ration. And, on January 1, 1863 the more than 3 million enslaved people who were then freed, celebrated with…you guessed it…Cowpeas.
Follow the legendary tradition by making a piping-hot Thermomix® pot of peas on New Year’s Day, and may your 2019 be filled with hope and purpose.
Cowpeas and Greens
2 cups dried peas
1 yellow onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1-2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cups greens of your choice, roughly chopped
4-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Cover peas with salted water and bring to a rolling boil for give minutes. Turn off heat and let peas soak overnight. Drain and rinse the peas. Pour peas into a standard-sized (6 quart) slow cooker. Heat medium sauté pan on high heat with olive oil, black pepper, red pepper and thyme. Sauté onion and pepper until soft. Stir in garlic for just a moment, before adding the greens a little at a time. As the greens begin to wilt, drizzle balsamic vinegar, and pour sauté over the peas in the slow cooker. Stir in stock, oregano and salt. There should be enough stock to fill the slow cooker about halfway. Cook on high heat for three hours. Reduce heat to low for another 4-8 hours, until desired consistency. This can be served immediately, but flavors will develop on the second day.
Want to can make your soup slumber party extra special with a new recipe? Activate your free Cookidoo® membership here!