I’m talking today about my family’s New Years Eve traditions.
This is my family growing up, not my children and husband today.
I’m from a family of eight kids. Eight kids in a three bedroom farmhouse that was so old, before my mom and dad moved in, they were using it to store ears of corn. When Mom and Dad got married, there on the land my grandpa owned was this little old house.
Three rooms TOTAL. They did a bunch of fixing and turned it into (drumroll) a four room house.
Now, people didn’t always live in the mini-mansions they all do today, so it wasn’t that uncommon. But it was pretty squashed.
Mom and Dad slept on a fold out couch and the kids, which just kept popping up every year or two, slept in this cracker box upstairs, one room with a roof that slanted. When my SIXTH sibling was born, a brother, Mom and Dad added onto the house by…buying another house, hauling it in and setting it down by the current house. Now the house had THREE bedrooms.
But, I now slept on Mom and Dad’s fold out couch (which I did not fold out). You can count that as a fourth bedroom, but it really wasn’t one.
All this to say, we were pretty poor and I was raised without much fancy stuff. And I really didn’t notice…much.
In the context of being poor, every New Years Eve, Mom would make this feast for us that was kind of expensive.
She’d get the pan out she used for deep frying, she had a wire basket to sink down into the hot oil, and she’d fry shrimp and chicken, French fries and onion rings.
It was DELICIOUS. My dad especially liked it which is why she probably did it. But except for the shrimp, which she bought breaded, it was all made from scratch.
She’d peel and ‘french fry’ the potatoes. She’d dip pieces of chicken in a thin batter, and she’d make these onion rings that, every once in a while, I can find in a restaurant that is seriously trying to make delicious food. The onion rings would go in a thin batter, then she’d drop them in the hot oil and they’d kind of be all stuck together.
We’d just surround the poor woman and she couldn’t turn out that wonderful once-a-year food fast enough.
I’m fond of saying, I never knew there was such a thing as a cookie that wasn’t warm.
Same for shrimp and onion rings, deep fried chicken and French fries. We always ate this food as fast as she could cook it.
I found out much later that part of this annual deep-fried feast was Mom and Dad trying to come up with a way to keep us all home (as we got old enough to have driver’s licenses) She worried about wild behavior (for us) and drunk drivers on the road with us.
In fact we didn’t start the tradition until I was a little older, so there’s some truth to it.
I always have loved fried shrimp (honestly, I like every kind of shrimp!), and once in a while I get those really great batter-dipped onion rings like Mom used to make.
And they remind me of a simple time in a three-bedroom farmhouse with a herd of kids all surrounding a very special and clever Mom.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021!
To celebrate the new year.
And to say a FULL-THROATED GOOD-BYE AND GOOD RIDDENCE TO THE OLD ONE!
I am giving away an ebook.
I have new release that has been released before…in a novella collection.
So it may be one you’ve read before.
An archeologist discovers dinosaur bones and wants to preserve an important site.
Her dream come true may destroy his ranch.
Or it may lead them to true love.
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