Taking a trip back in time to New Years long ago!
So we all joke that Julie Albright is basically the brown eyed, hip and happening Californian version of my mother. They're basically the same age. Julie has the clothes she wanted, an orange version of her skateboard, and even has a pet rabbit, although Nutmeg is a much more universally loved pet than Thumper was. They even both love Little House on the Prairie and The Brady Bunch!
Which yes, everyone did back then. But was everyone a spunky blonde ten year old with a tiny braid and a love for buffalo sandals?
This year, it was revealed that my mother had a special ritual she shared with her grandmother on New Year's Eve, and I decided what better way to ring in the new year than recreating that? Rediscovering a piece of family history sounds a lot better than twiddling my thumbs waiting for the ball to drop!
As a child, my mother deeply resented her parents going out to New Year's parties without her, and thought it was a huge injustice that she didn't get to throw her own.
(Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but when you're ten, everything feels like a huge injustice.)
She decided to take matters into her own hands by convincing her nana to have a party with her, and scrounging for materials from the desk in the kitchen to make her own home made decorations. This included construction paper hats, pipe cleaners, and basically anything else she could get her hands on. While reminiscing about her parties for this post, she said "One year, in desperation because balloons were off the table, I decided to make my own. So I blew up my Super Elastic Bubble Plastic and hid them in my closet. Imagine my disappointment when I went to get them later and discovered they had deflated and turned into hard, wrinkly balls."
So you see the struggle that went on in planning these grand events.
Eventually, my grandma caught on and got more on board. "My mom kind of realized that I was in it to win it and started saving decorations from her parties in a brown paper bag for me. I would put them in my closet, where they'd get ripped and crushed, but we'd still use them the next year," my mom elaborated.
Besides construction paper party hats that closely resemble dunce caps, another staple was the French onion dip. French onion dip actually goes back to 1954, and was added to the Lipton soup boxes in 1958, but it was super popular in the 70's and continues to be so today. The recipe is insanely simple, and is very, very easy to throw together in a pinch. It's definitely something a desperate ten year old could do in retaliation for not being invited to a grown up party!
All you need is a 16 ounce container of sour cream and a packet of Lipton onion soup mix. You dump them both into a bowl and mix them together.
Leave it to chill in the fridge for a little while to let the onions rehydrate, and then serve it with Ruffles potato chips. No other potato chips can do the job!
The Ruffles are super salty and a great compliment to the cool, creamy dip, which has just enough onion flavoring to make this taste a little like your own home made sour cream and onion chip, which is totally up my alley!
They'd also get little frozen hot dogs wrapped in pastry, Cheetos and Cold Duck, which for those not in the know is terrible, terrible purple sparkling wine. They would watch Guy Lombardo in the Waldorf Astoria ballroom in New York City, which is where they'd watch the ball drop. "It's definitely a fond memory I hold very dear, and what a great sport my nana was to humor me and make me feel important, and want to do something like that with me," my mom said, which I think is very nice. Nana passed away when I was pretty little, but I remember enough to know that she was a great lady who really made kids feel important and loved. It was a lot of fun to talk about a tradition I'd never heard of before and find a way to pay tribute to it!
Hope everyone has a happy New Year, and looking forward to a great 2016!
Or 1977, if you're paying attention to Julie and Ivy's hats!