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New Years Eve food memories? [moved from Great Lakes]

I'm wondering about everyone's childhood food memories from New Year's Eve. What did your family always have that night?

Also, please post where you grew up and if your food tradition was part of your ethnic background.

Do you have a new food necessity for New Year's Eve now?

In SE Wisconsin, I grew up with little rye breads topped with raw ground round, lots of onions and plenty of black pepper. We also had it on Christmas Eve at large family gatherings. My only requirement at NYE now is champagne.

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  1. My memories of NYE don't come from childhood, but from my teens. My parents started to get a lobster for each of us if we were going to be home for dinner. Smart woman...

    1. I can honestly say we had not one NYE food tradition. I am Italian-American and grew up in Jersey City, NJ. I know there are a lot of Italian and Italian-American NYE food traditions, but I really do not think we did any of them. Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, yes. Tons of them. NYE, none.

      1. Oh hell yes... Smallish city in Western NY, Rochester...As a child, the tradition was my parents and siblings going to a somewhat-fancier Chinese restaurant downtown in the city. I'd get a chicken and vegetable dish that tasted like the best thing ever at the time (probably still would, unfortunately the restaurant has long been closed.) I'd also get a Shirley Temple with a cherry on either a fancy toothpick or an umbrella!! This still excites me. Then we'd come home, watch the Dick Clark ruckus, and have ice cream sundaes with bananas, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, peanuts, and yes, more maraschino cherries. Also us kids would have that sparkling grape juice stuff that's in the champagne bottles. That stuff is delicious! Okay, I'd be lying if I said I don't want to retreat back to my childhood New Year's Eves.

        1. I am dating myself but growing up NYE was never about the kids, it was an adult affair. If my parents has a party at home we were regulated to basement playroom or if they went out we had a sitter and the very rare TV dinner.

          As a teen I baby sat other peoples kids so they go out. I ate whatever they had on hand and listened to the top 100 countdown.

          1. As a child in the early-to-mid 1970s in San Diego, New Year's Eve was a "grown up" holiday. My mother would pack us a box dinner (sorry cannot remember the food), complete with hats and noise makers, then do her make up, and leave us with a sitter, while she and my father went to Bali Hai.

            I remember watching Dick Clark. Trying to stay up til midnight.

            On New Year's Day morning we would watch the Rose Parade on TV and go out for breakfast. Usually at someplace like The Kettle.