New Year’s Eve 2013

Our Annual Fondue

As has become our custom, it was just the two of us at home in New Jersey doing our annual fondue and listening to WQXR’s Classical Countdown – 105 selections, rankings based on voting by listeners.

When we began dinner, they were up to Number. 5, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Number 4 was Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “The Emperor.” At this point, we had fun guessing the top three. Well, Number 1 was pretty much a foregone conclusion since as long as we can remember, it’s been Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. And so it was again this year! So, it came down to guessing Numbers 2 and 3. I recalled that last year, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, popularly known as the “New World Symphony,” was Number 3. We went with that and were right. That left Number 2. We figured it was most probably a Beethoven symphony – hey, the guy’s music is really popular with the QXR audience! – so after running through the symphonies that we’d already heard, we made an educated guess that it would be his Seventh, which it was.

A simple green salad dressed with a vinaigrette started things off.

Green Salad

The meat was filet mignon, and there were four sauces: mustard, tarragon, garlic, and horseradish.

Meat and Sauces

Beef Fondue and Sauces

The potatoes rösti are always the biggest challenge. My concern is that when it comes time to invert them onto the plate, they might stick to the pan. No such trouble this time.  However, they weren’t exactly centered on the plate, so I had to maneuver them a bit. Beautifully browned and delicious!

Potatoes Rösti

Michael drank a Bordeaux which he said was fantastic!

Grand Vin de Bordeaux

I kept things easy and simple for dessert: Breyer’s Vanilla Ice Cream. Michael wanted his with Kahlua and whipped cream. After I cleaned up, I made myself a black and white ice cream soda accompanied by one Oreo. (I didn’t take a photo and, yes, I am able to eat just one!).


At midnight, we watched the ball drop. We traditionally watch a movie afterwards though more often than not, I’ve ended up falling asleep. This time, instead of a movie, AMC had run a 4-day marathon of all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. Since we hadn’t seen the last half of the final season, I dvr’d all those episodes. We watched just the first one.

Here’s hoping 2014 will be a good one!


2 Responses to “New Year’s Eve 2013”

  1. ulterior epicure Says:

    1. That rösti looks like what Colby Garrelts calls “GBD” (Golden-brown and delicious)!

    2. I’d be curious to know whether there is much variation, year-to-year, among the top five on the annual countdown. I bet it’s mostly the same pieces, in slightly different order from year-to-year.

  2. thewizardofroz Says:

    @u.e., Lovely to see you commenting here.

    1. 🙂

    2. You raise an interesting question. I Googled to find the results for 2009 – 2012.

    As I noted, Beethoven’s Ninth = No. 1 every year. Dvorak’s New World was either No. 2 or 3 except in 2011, when it was No. 6. In ’09, Beethoven’s Seventh was No. 7 in ’09 but then moved into the top five: No. 4 in ’10 and ’11, No. 2 in ’12 (same this year). The “Emperor” has been in the top 5 only once before this year: No. 4 in ’09. (Previously, No. 8 in ’10, No. 9 in ’11, No. 6 in ’12.) Mahler’s 2nd Symphony the “Resurrection,” has made it three times: No. 5 in ’10 and “11 and No. 3 in’12. Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos has made it twice: No. 3 in ’09 and ’10. Beethoven’s Fifth has made it twice: No. 2 in ’11 and No. 4 in ’12. Beethoven’s Third made it once at No. 5 in ’11, and his Sixth, the “Pastoral,” made it once at 5, in ’09.

    Strange that there’s no Mozart though his Symphony No. 41, the “Jupiter,” came close in ’09 at No. 6. Of course, he’s always very well represented lower down in the count.

    In case you want to tune in for next year’s countdown — or anytime: And they have an app.
    . .

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