Traditions have to start somewhere. One of my favorite traditions began in 2009 with a simple, spur-of-the-moment dinner invitation from our very close friends Steve and Tracy Nees. It’s a dinner we now do every year on the day after Christmas.
What makes this tradition special is that simple means getting back to the core of what a tradition is: great friends, lots of laughing and great food and drink.
The cooking, oh yes, the cooking: hearty, rustic dishes cooked in cast iron pots and pans placed over lava-orange coals in an open living room fireplace. The friends and laughing: animated and fueled by bottles of good red wine as the day turns from afternoon to early evening…and continues late into the night.
The menu for this year’s post-Christmas gathering included coq au vin, bison filet and collard greens. Liquid accompaniments included a bottle of one of my all-time favorite wines (Bogle Phantom), Dogfish Head’s My Antonia and warming nightcaps of Schonauer Apfel Schnapps and an organic pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea.
It doesn’t take generations to establish a tradition. Sometimes all it takes is good friends, an open day on the calendar, and a desire to unplug from the hustle and bustle of our everyday to create a lasting memory.