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December 27, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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December 27, 2012
 

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I Thursday, SECTION December 27,2012 O F t' O CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Spirit Staff CHARLES TOWN arties are a New Year's Eve I staple, of course, but many of us rely on a variety of other foods and customs to mark the passage of one year into the next. When we asked readers of the Spirit of Jefferson to share some of their New Year's favorites, we heard about main dishes made with black-eyed peas, cabbage and pork as well as traditions said to usher in good fortune, including burying cash to be dug up the following Jan. 1. Marsha O'Roke says she'll continue with her tradition of serving hoppin' John on New Year's Day. There are a multitude of variations to the dish, she said, but most include smoked sausage, tomatoes and. black-eyed peas served over rice. "It's a Southern recipe that I learned about 15 years ago when I worked for a company in Charlotte, N.C:," the Martinsburg resident ex- plains. "It's supposed to bring good luck." Black-eyed peas, which puff up when they're cooked, have long been a symbol of prosperity. Other foods believed to bring good fortune to those who consume them on New Year's Day include cabbage leaves (said to resemble paper money) as well as collard and mustard greens (both the color of money). Because pigs move forward when they for- age, meat from the animal is seen as symbolic of a chance to move ahead in life in the new year. Among the Jan. 1 staples: a whole roasted pig, ham hocks or sausage. Debbie Vigh says her New Year's tradition involves creating a "finger food heaven" for her family and friends, complete with pepper- oni rolls, smoked sausage, cabbage soup and other menu items with "good luck" ingredi- ents. For Barbara Bradley, a long-cherished fam- ily tradition involved collecting small sums of cash from each person at the family's New Year's Eve dinner. After dinner, her son buried the bag, which would be dug up a year later on New Year's Day. "Each of us was to tend it carefully over the coming year and spend in on the following New Year's Eve," Bradley said. "The legend was that of prosperity and good fortune. Silly sounding, but that is what makes good legends - and prosperity was at hand: the good fortune was the memories we created." New Year's Eve also can be an important time for personal reflection, says Kimberly Huneycutt, a wellness coach and nutritionist at Harpers Ferry Massage Therapy and Wellness Center. "I go through every part of my life and figure out which area needs support," said Huneycutt, whose office is at 1441 W. Wash- ington St. "I look at my health - my weight, fitness - work, relationships, spirituality, stress relief, home and community and I then write out what I'm grateful for within each of those areas." Honeycutt says she next thinks about what is not working in each area of her life and deter- mines what she'd like to change. "Then I look at what a perfect day would look like," she said. "I ask myself a series of questions - 'How do I want to feel when I get ready for work?' 'How do I want to feel when I'm doing my exercise?'" Once that list is complete, Huneycutt begins to look at what she'd like to change, starting See NEW YEAR'S Page B2 Prime-time holiday season dinner idea ROBERT SMITH Spirit Staff Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the same old, same old dinner duo of turkey or ham can get incredibly boring. When planning those big dinners this year, consider serving a smoked standing rib roast slow cooked on your smoker or grill. In addition to saving room in your oven to cook other dishes-, smoking really brings out tl e flavor of this grand piece of meat. The cut will come Out extremely tender, unbelievably juicy and have a bold flavor. Paired with au jus and a creamy horseradish sauce, this recipe will sure to be a fond holiday season memory and turned into a yearly tradition. A standing rib roast is better known as "prime rib." The term "prime rib" is a misnomer -- only 20 percent of beef fib roasts are deemed "prime," according to USDA standards and are usually sold to high-end restaurants. Make sure to buy the roast with the ribs still attached -- this will bring out the most flavor. A four-bone standing rib roast is big enough to serve eight to 10 people. For this recipe, you will need a four- bone standing rib roast, butcher's string, seasonings of your choice, roasting pan and grate, and natural charcoal or smoking chunks. A note about charcoal: Always use natural charcoal, not briquettes. The briquettes are made from softwoods,, and then mixed with ground coal, starch, Borax, sawdust and limestone. Natural charcoal is just that -- partially burned hardwood that is See DINNER Page B2 Jocelyn Robinson, who just finished her first semester at Shepherd University, says she loves the "time capsule" aspect of photography. She took this self-portrait. Photographer Jocelyn Robinson shares insight into how she works CHRISTINE MILLER FORD itations, the school's Spirit Staff yearbook and newspa- SHEPHERDSTOWN per photography depart- ments didn't offer her - Since She graduated the opportunities she from Washington High wanted, Robinson said. School earlier this year, A piano player arid 18-year-old Jocelyndrummer, she stayed Robinson has been in- busy with the Patriot dulging more and more band instead. in her passion for pho- With her diploma in tography. During high school, See YOUNG Page B3 because of funding lim- PATT WELSH KEARNEYSVILLE - Families cel- ebrate the New Year in diverse ways: attending parties, spending quiet time with family, watching the ball drop in Times Square. Some shoot off guns, make noise and so on, waiting for the New Year to arrive. When I was grow- ing up in the Midwest, I would look forward to New Year's Eve when my dad would fire off one shot and let us beat on an old pan or bucket to make as much noise as we could to ring in the New Year with the neighborhood joining in. We would then go in for hot chocolate and cookies. If you have guests stopping by on New Year's Eve, plan to have a snack and drink to sere. One great possibil- ity for a drink:lsteaming hot cups of Apple Cider. You can buy the cider, heat on stove and add cinnamon sticks or pour cider in individual cups and add one cinnamon stick to each. You also can use a crockpot to keep cider hot. How about serving a great Spinach Dip? Start with one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained. Add one 8-ounce container sour cream, one cup mayonnaise and one 4-ounce packet vegetable soup mix (or a pack of dry onion soup mix). Blend in a bowl and serve with chips or crackers. It's also fun to create a fancier serv- ing container by taking out the center out of a round loaf of bread. You can use the small bite-size pieces to scoop up the dip. Cheese Spinach and Bacon Dip is another favorite for any holiday party. You'll need one 10-ounce package fro- zen chopped spinach, thawed, drained; one pound of Velveeta, cut into half- inch cubes: 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed; one 10-ounce diced tomatoes and with green chilies, undrained; 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled. In a microwavable bowl, mix in- gredients together and cook on high 5 minutes or until Velveeta cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 3 min- utes. Serve with tortilla chips and cut- up fresh vegetables. To keep this dip warm, pour prepared dip into a small slow cooker set on low. Because the party will go so late, lighter fare may be the way to go. You could serve a favorite soup with crack- ers or create a tasty cheese platter with a selection of cheeses, pepperoni and crackers. Another easy (and healthy) idea: Put See RECIPES Page B2 Hosting a New Year's Eve shindig? Grab a platter, some crackers and say cheese.