New York strip. $24 per pound. Local, organic, well-loved cows. Carried home like a sack of gold bricks. Rubbed with half a garlic clove and a little butter. Sprinkled---no, showered--with lots of coarse salt. Brought to room temperature before dropping with that unmistakeable SSSZZZZ in a cast iron pan. Pink and running with juices, coated in a salty, charred crust. Given time to rest. Served with smashed potatoes and a pile of peppery watercress, tossed with olive oil and lemon. Dollop of horseradish cream. Glass of nice wine. Quiet apartment, faint sounds of revelry from the street. Candles. Roses bought on the way home from an early cocktail at the tiny secret bar around the corner. Husband's sweet face. The countdown. The kiss. My last meal of 2011.
I don't know if it's the full moon, or the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, or the whole Mayan Calendar/end of the world thing, but 2012 is kind of kicking my ass. Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you (at least, not entirely), but in a galvanizing, take action, I will not be ignored no matter how hard you try, kind of way. It appears 2012 has some lessons in store for us.
It's funny how we finish out each year with the decadent, overblown extravagance of the holidays--the food, the decorations, the incessant music, the ads, the flitting to and fro, the calories, the guilt, the consumption, the kissing under the mistletoe and at the stroke of midnight, the parties, the gifts, the promise of magic--only to wake up on January 1st a little hungover, a little softer around the middle than we were a month ago and resolve with fervor to undo all of it, to buckle down and face the reality of the coming year with grim determination and a aescetic's commitment to moderation. January has always felt a little cheerless to me. It's another whole year before we get to indulge with the same childish abandon, and its at least another couple of months before any real national holiday swings around to give us a break. And this year it's hit me particularly hard. I just want to hit snooze and get 5 more minutes in bed with 2011. But after those five minutes I promise--I PROMISE--I'll get right up and wash my face and eat a sensible breakfast and get to work. There's a lot to be done, and I'm ready for it.
Bring it, 2012.
The inspiration for our New Year's meal, Jamie Oliver's Griddled Steak with Horseradish Sauce can be found here.