Happy New Year, Happy Old Year.

My first act of the New Year– make that my third act of the New Year after flushing the Old Year down the toilet and washing my hands with soap and hot water–  was to bake a loaf of bread. It’s not an unusual morning activity if one is a bread baker, but I am not a bread baker. I am a bread buyer.

It wasn’t very good bread. In fact, it was rather the opposite: under-proofed, under-flavored, and a trifle under-baked. Frankly, I couldn’t give a flying fuc squirrel whether it was the most delicious sandwich loaf ever to hit my cutting board or if it was better suited as a flooring tile. What’s important is that I woke up wanting to bake bread. By myself. In my boxer shorts.

It just happened. And the fact that I don’t give a Flying fuc Dutchman if it was a lousy loaf makes me even happier. Just read my last post if you don’t believe me. It’s right there below this one, which is where last posts typically belong.

Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that toasting fixes everything.

My last social interaction of the Old Year was a surprise visit by my oldest friends, The Rosas. They had been mushroom foraging up north and asked if they could swing by my place on their drive home to share their bounty with me. My kitchen and living room were a mess, but I didn’t give a flying fuc saucer (actually, I did, but it was merely the size of a demitasse). I was shown Black Trumpets, Pig’s Ears, Chanterelles. They left me with some of the last and wished me a Happy New Year.

It was an appropriate end cap to a year filled with kind people doing generous things. And I do mean filled.

I’m not going to dive in too deep looking for meaning. I don’t have to. I have so many delightful people in my life. I woke up on the first day of the New Year feeling un-characteritically self-reliant. I decided that my first meal of the year should be made from last year’s mushrooms and this year’s bread. None of it should be wasted, no matter how crappy the bread turned out.

And that’s basically it. Not so much in a nutshell, but served up on toast.

Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for reading and for all of those smart, thoughtful, clever comments in 2011, which have sustained me like you-wouldn’t-believe. Now that I do give a flying fuc carpet about.


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About Michael Procopio

I write about food and am very fond of Edward Gorey. And gin.
This entry was posted in Holidays, Rants and Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Happy New Year, Happy Old Year.

  1. Katrina says:

    Happy New Year! You’ve kicked it off with yet another beautiful post.

  2. bailey says:

    I’ve been reading for most of a year and never commented, but I wanted to say that your blog posts always make me smile, chuckle, a laugh right out loud. Please keep doing what you are doing because you do it with your very own style – and it’s special!

  3. Hank Shaw says:

    Lemme know how you like those pig’s ears. I have some in my fridge, but have not cooked them. I’ve heard mixed reviews…

    • Craig Rosa says:

      Hi Hank:

      We cooked up the Pig’s Ears last night, with favorable results. Chose to stir fry them w/ asparagus & bell pepper, treat them like a shiitake or oyster mushroom. They have a very meaty texture, and a slight mustiness that we enjoyed but I could see how some would find it a tad strong. I definitely would pair Pig’s Ears with big flavors (game, lamb, red wine.. or ginger, oyster sauce, chiles, etc.).

      Now the 2 lb. cluster we found was very young and fresh – I am willing to bet that when they get old, they start to lose their charm fairly quickly.

      That said, the black trumpets we found were the real treat. We cooked those up next morning in an omelet. Divine. Found less than a pound, wish we had more!

      • Craig,

        My favorite part this comment is that a straight man just used the word “divine. As a one-word sentence.

        Thanks for the delicious chanterelles. And for siring an awesome family. And all the other things you’ve brought into my life over the last 22 years.

    • Mr. Shaw, did you see Mr. Craig Rosa’s response to your question farther down in the comments? I did not partake in the pigs’ ears (or is it pig’s ears), merely the chanterelles.

      I really should get the two of you together because you are both, to put it in Orange County-speak, totally freaking awesome.

      Happy New Year.

      P.S. I’ve never shot a gun in my life, but am now intrigued by the idea. I guess you might say I’m hunting curious/questioning.

  4. I was reminded just this morning that there can be beauty in even our unsuccessful endeavors. I think your New Year’s boule is unsuccessfully beautiful.

  5. Magda says:

    Happy New Year Michael.

    I love the way you write and I can’t wait for more of your posts this year.

  6. Thea says:

    *Flying* way to start off the new year — thank you for this and the that of last year.

  7. Craig Rosa says:


    So glad you are kicking off the New Year in a golden nimbus of fungus. Much love from the Rosa clan!

  8. Sean says:

    And I don’t give a flying fuc fish how beyond wabi sabi your bread is. I’d enjoy it just the same. Especially with Rosa-foraged chanterelles.

  9. Sean says:

    Oh boo – WordPress comments don’t respect the <s> tag.

    • Frankly, I’m kinda glad it doesn’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t now be saying “Flying fuc fish” to myself repeatedly.

      Tell me, do you think I should just make everything about my life wabi sabi?

  10. You say what I’m always thinking, and make me smile, laugh and glad that I subscribed to your posts. Happy New Year, Michael!

    • Well hello there and Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you so much for telling me this, Susan. I was so worried that I scared the hell out of you that one morning over breakfast in Cancun! Your recipes look beautiful, so why did you stop posting? (Please say it wasn’t because of that breakfast.)

  11. Personally, I love that you started out the New Year with something imperfect like this bread. The very notion of a squeaky clean beginning seems so … unrealistic… impossible… strange… that I now go to bed at 10pm on New Year’s Eve and wake up without nary a resolution. That being said, I’m not totally without goal… I’ve come into a habit of making resolutions around Thanksgiving which all stem from something I feel like I should be thankful for, but haven’t let into my life yet. It’s sort of a neat and random thing and it’s worked out better because there’s no one to tell, and therefore no one to expect me to fail. Best wishes and Happy New Year! Here’s to keeping the edges a little rough. :0)

  12. Susan says:

    Hi Michael

    The holidays are over and I survived. Every year I can’t wait to wish people a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    And very, very special thoughts to you Michael.

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