Magic Beans Part Deux

Last year, I learned that eating a bowl of black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is supposed to bring good luck. I was dubious over this claim, but within days had a $47,000 hospital bill wiped out. My balance due? Zero. That was the start of a good luck train that chugged along the tracks all year long, picking up speed as the months passed. Tara moved out here. I got a job. She got a job. I got a better job. We got to see a rock ‘n roll legend live in concert. Our football team ended the season on an 11-game winning streak. Just recently, I posted about all the good luck I’ve had lately.

So naturally, this year we made sure to cook up a pot of black eyed peas on Tuesday. Even though Tara doesn’t like beans. Things worked out so well for us last year, how could we not?

Time will tell if ’13 is a lucky number for us, but I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

3' long noodles require scissors for cutting.
3′ long noodles require scissors for cutting.

This year’s New Years Eve celebration was a far cry from last year’s. I’m not saying it wasn’t as good, it was just good in a very different way. Instead of being surrounded by hundreds of people in a small town convention center while being bombarded with cheesy country and 80s hits, it was just the two of us, hanging out at home, having a blast as usual. We both got out of work early…ooh, and it was snowing! Just enough to give us a light dusting, though. Tara was extremely unimpressed. We had been trying to decide whether to go out somewhere and party or stay at home, so we ended up compromising and did a nice Chinese dinner out, then came home. Tried a spot in Portland with great Yelp reviews called Shandong, and the place was hopping. The food was delicious, too: not your standard ultra-Americanized fare. Forget crab rangoon and sweet ‘n sour pork, we ordered Chilean rock crab and and shiitake shao loong bao. And pork with garlic and ginger infused cherry sauce. And red curry crab noodles. This place makes all their noodles from scratch, and they are three feet long so they serve them with a pair of scissors for cutting.

I’m dead serious.

After that fantastic meal we came home, poured ourselves some drinks, lit candles, cranked up the music, and played cribbage for awhile. We also did a lot of reminiscing over the past year and talked about what 2013 will bring. At one point I asked her what she was looking forward to most in the new year, and her answer surprised me. “Just having a normal, day-to-day life with you,” she replied. She’s eager for daily routines and not having to stress over jobs or money, and I get that. “Normal” has never sounded so appealing before. Needless to say, I felt bad for my “getting a new car!” answer. The entire evening was romantic and fun and, if truth be told, I probably liked it better than last year, just because it was the perfect, quiet culmination of an amazing year. Tara had never seen the ball drop in Times Square before (!) so we turned on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, suffered through a half-hour of Ryan Seacrest and Taylor Swift, and then at the stroke of midnight raised our glasses of champagne for a toast and a kiss. Pretty magical, actually.

Orange you glad we don't take life too seriously?
Orange you glad we don’t take life too seriously?

And then we realized that our work was just beginning on Eat My Words, our yearlong food challenge/blog, so in the morning we got things started with a Bloody Mary in celebration of National Bloody Mary Day. One day down, 364 to go. What have we gotten ourselves into?! But it’ll be fun. We welcome you to follow along on this joint effort by clicking on the aforementioned link and subscribing. Trust me, it’ll be fun, and an easy read.

Today it’s back to work, and the reality that the holiday season is completely over. Kinda sad, but at the same time, with everything we’ve got planned this year we don’t need special occasions to have fun – every day will be special in its own way. Even those days when we do nothing more than get up early to hit the treadmill, and then slog through eight hours at work before coming home exhausted and hungry. That’s real life, and like Tara said, its worth looking forward to on its own.

I hope your New Year’s was just as wonderful as ours!

13 thoughts on “Magic Beans Part Deux

  1. Okay first, LOVE the photo of you and Tara with the orange slices!


    Actually, your New Years Eve this year sounded really, really nice. I think a quiet New Year’s Eve is wonderful because it’s more intimate and special.

    “and they are three feet long so they serve them with a pair of scissors for cutting.

    I’m dead serious.”

    How funny is that?!?!!?

    Reminds me of an I Love Lucy episode in which Ethel took out a pair of cuticle scissor from her handbag, and then used them to CUT Lucy’s spaghetti as she was sucking it up in her mouth. HA!


    1. There’s a scene we never saw in “Lady And The Tramp.” Love it!

      And, there’s a lot to be said for a quiet and intimate holiday (although this year we’re already planning a trip to Ely to celebrate NYE).


      1. I don’t mind a good sweet ‘n sour dish every now and then. It was nice to try more “traditional” Chinese cuisine, though. Panda Express doesn’t cut it EVERY time. Happy New Year to you too, Renae!


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