New Year’s foods and Alfonso’s Rape of Prosecco

black eyed peasGeorgia P (left) had her first black-eyed peas on New Year’s day, a classic southern tradition observed here in the Parzen home.

Each year, Tracie P makes the peas, simmered with bacon, and serves them with sautée cabbage and cornbread, which she bakes in her grandmother Georgia’s cast-iron skillet (Georgia P’s namesake).

Georgia was more interested in a beautiful pear that we had ripened for her dessert. But it was a thrill for us to watch her taste black-eyed peas for the first time.

Our New Year’s Eve celebration was tame but cozy, with a wine selection that was as predictable as it was delicious (Billecart-Salmon to toast the new year and 2007 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco for the meal).

cast iron steak pan

I was supremely geeked to grill steaks on the new cast-iron ridged, pre-seasoned griddle that Tracie P got me for Christmas (it’s a flat griddle on the other side). Just look at those scores!

garlic spinach sauteed

Of course, no steak is complete at our house without a side of wilted spinach that has been sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil with garlic and chili flakes.

classic american baked potato

I actually make bacon bits for our baked potatoes, one of our favorite culinary rituals.

mashed baked potato

Tracie P employs the “Bourne protocol” to her baked tuber.

Happy new year, everyone!

In other news…

prosecco col fondo colfondo

Above: Prosecco, “col fondo,” lees-aged and undisgorged, the way it used to be (and the way it is produced by a handful of young producers who have revived the classic style, once in vogue but now eclipsed by “big” Prosecco).

I highly recommend Alfonso’s recent post, the “Rape of Prosecco,” his dissertation on the “perversion” of the Prosecco appellation.

“Many of us were struck by the harshness of the act that one man perpetrated early one morning in December in Montalcino,” he writes, referring to the act of vandalism that destroyed six vintages of one of Italy’s most coveted wines.

“It was horrid, indeed. But the systematic dismantling of tradition in the Veneto, from Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, on the gentle slopes that humankind has lovingly nurtured — that is tragedy of legendary proportions. Culture, tradition, quality, values — all receding like the arctic ice in the Polar zones.”

I’m not sure what prompted him to post this on the eve of the New Year’s celebration.

But I wholeheartedly agree with him and the Gramscian spirit with which he writes: “Enormous growth year after year has people chasing after more and more profit, pushing the land, changing laws, reducing the Veneto to a mere factory for the whims of folks who no longer want to spend money on Champagne and sparkling wine of character.”

Chapeau bas, Alfonso. (Read his post here.)

3 thoughts on “New Year’s foods and Alfonso’s Rape of Prosecco

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