I’ll be alone this New Year’s Eve, for the first time I can remember. I think for the first time ever, actually. I’m okay with that; I swear – Kendrick has always cared way more about New Year’s than I do, and I never want to stay up until midnight anyway, so it just makes sense for the kids to go to his place for the weekend. Besides, even in “normal” years, oh my god do I ever not want to go out on New Year’s – just the thought of it makes me want to nap.
But there’s another reason I’m not only “okay” with being on my own, but rather actively looking forward to it.
When Kendrick and I divorced, I realized very quickly that I did not know how to be single. I’d moved fairly seamlessly from relationship to relationship my entire adult life (with a year-long foray into casual dating in my mid-twenties that I somehow survived, but probably shouldn’t have), so when my marriage ended I found myself completely at sea, and wanted someone – anyone – to save me. I wasn’t sure I knew how to make myself feel better all on my own, because I’d never really had to do it.
My extremely ill-advised solution to this, of course, was to date – too quickly, and too much. I jumped into one short-lived relationship, and then another – the latter of which ended in a way so painful that – thank you, universe! – it turned out to be precisely what I’d needed. Once I saw how completely the end of a relationship could destroy me, I realized that, alas, I really did have to do that thing that everyone had been telling me I had to do: Figure out how to love myself, by myself. And there was no one on earth who could help me do it besides…me.
Yeah, I’ll be alone on New Year’s Eve. But I think I might celebrate, after all.
I have this Nigella Lawson book called Feast, in which she recommends menus for various occasions, from a child’s birthday party to Rosh Hashanah. And one of my favorite sections of this book has always been the bit about New Year’s Eve where she recommends doing the simplest – but most extravagant – thing ever: whip up some potato pancakes, and set a big platter of them out on a table with piles of really excellent caviar, creme fraiche, and either champagne or icy-cold vodka. I did this for our 2016 New Year’s Eve (sidenote: that video is a killer.)
Champagne and caviar is kinda a silly thing to do when you’re all by yourself; it seems like the kind of extravagance that you tend to…you know…share with another person. But this New Year’s Eve I’m going to open a tin of fancy Whole Foods caviar. I’m going to make fresh potato pancakes, and eat them with my fingers while they’re still hot. I’m going to pour a glass of excellent champagne. And then, around 9 o’clock or so, I’ll pour myself into bed, so I’ll be fast asleep when the ball drops – just as I always wanted.
What You Need:
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup potato flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
What You Do:
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, potato flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, butter, and buttermilk.
- Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones until you have a smooth batter.
- Heat and oil a griddle and drop batter on in large spoonfuls (the pancakes should be about 2″ wide). These won’t bubble up the way traditional pancakes do, so make sure to flip them as soon as the bottom feels set.
- Eat spread generously with creme fraiche and the best caviar you can find.