Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your best dishes to ring in the New Year.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
New Year's Hot Pot, a DIY feast by Felicia Lee: If holidays, even raucous, drunken ones, are really supposed to be about togetherness, what could be a more appropriate meal than this, where people gather around a pot of bubbling soup, cooking meats and vegetables in the broth for themselves and their neighbors?
THIS WEEK'S ALTERNATE WINNERS:
Indian-spiced black-eyed peas by Lucy Mercer: In the South, black-eyed peas on New Year's are a symbol and wish for good luck. But in celebrating this tradition taught to her by her mother, Lucy also breaks a little from convention to leave the seasoning meat behind and instead uses warm spices for an intriguing version.
Coconut pineapple upside-down cakes by Linda Shiue: The pineapple has long been considered a symbol of welcome and hospitality in Western cultures, and, interestingly enough, a New Year's treat in certain Asian ones. So it's fitting to welcome in 2011 with these treats. But then again, a cake topped with a caramelized slice of sweet pineapple hardly ever needs an excuse.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE HONORABLE MENTIONS
Turkish lemon syrup cake by Fusun Atalay: While some sweets get all the glory (Feel the glare, baklava), there are others quietly, diligently keeping millions of Turkish people happy on their New Year's day, like this dense, lemony, syrup-soaked cake.
New Year's chili by Vivian Henoch: For some, New Year's is a time for wild experimentation, for chasing the new. For others, it's a time for formality, pomp and circumstance. And for others yet, it's a time for the comforts of long-stewed meats and warm spices. It's time for chili.
Southern / Portuguese collard greens soup by Theresa Rice: Ringing in the Old (world) with the New (world), Theresa looks at her Southern traditions of black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread, and finds kinship with the classic Portuguese soup Caldo Verde, European collards and cornbread.
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
What with the crazy rain in California, the roof caving in from snow in the Minneapolis Metrodome, and the latest Snomaggedon to hit the Northeast, one thing that's clear is that natural forces are conspiring to make sure we all have a few delicious go-to recipes to make with stuff we probably always have lying around the house, for when a trip to the store looks likely to end in disaster.
So this week, share with us your best and / or easiest dishes to make when you're huddled inside and are left to your own devices and the things you normally keep in your cupboard, fridge and freezer. We'll be printing these recipes out for our emergency preparedness kits.
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC emergency preparedness (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity and execution.