Some New Year recipes to be shaken, not stirred

By John Owen | Dec 24, 2013

How do residents celebrate New Year Eve in Edmonds?

No, soapsuds in the fountain are neither recommended nor endorsed, even though this midnight ritual might give the community a squeaky-clean reputation.

Instead, it is recommended that the celebration involve a cocktail, a light snack and then a smack on the kisser to mark the arrival of the New Year.

Got that?  Drink… snack… smack… and no suds.

Of course, if you toast the event with martinis you may fall asleep before you get around to passing out snacks and smacks.  That's also part of the holiday ritual.

Granted, the inventor of the martini deserves to have his name honored along with Sir Humphry Davy, Horace Wells, William Green Morton and other towering figures in the history of anesthesiology.  Gin and vermouth, mixed in a proper proportion, can cure a stammer, enlarge the libido and eliminate the most deep-seated inhibition.

Of course, people might not recognize this miracle cure if you happen to be face down under the cocktail table.  And since martinis also put the tongue to sleep, they are not a perfect prelude to a midnight feast.

Even if you limit yourself to a single martini (and you won't), some spicy appetizers might perk up your appetite.  You could offer your guests some:

Midnight Meatballs

1 1/2 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons cornflake crumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 minced cloves garlic

small minced onion

1 cup tomato juice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Mix all ingredients and form into walnut-sized meatballs.  Brown in a skillet with two teaspoons butter.

Drain the meatballs and keep warm while you mix up a:

Spicy Sauce

1 chopped onion

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups beef bouillon

1 tablespoon catsup

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup dry red wine

4 tablespoons chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Heat the meatballs in the sauce and serve with toothpicks or cocktail forks on the side.

Another of my favorite New Year Eve appetizers is:

Pike Place Cheese Spread

1/2 pound cheddar spoon cheese

1/2 pound cream cheese

1/2 pound blue cheese

3/4 cup ground walnuts

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3/4 minced parsley

1 grated onion

Let all the cheeses sit at room temperature until soft, and then toss into a Mixmaster bowl, blend then store in crocks.

If you are unfamiliar with the proper formula for Italian martinis, this will work.

Pour four fingers of gin over ice and face Naples.

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