This year, I found myself ringing in the New Year in Barcelona, Spain, with the artist and his family.  We joined the masses of Spaniards at one of the city’s squares, by the water, with a bottle of champagne and a stack of plastic glasses. 

Counting down to one, the cork was popped, and the champagne poured freely, sending tiny bubbles to the top of the glass.  It did not matter that we were drinking from plastic glasses and not the finest crystal.  The fireworks lit up the sky, a few Spaniards jumped into the water, and we started the year with a kiss.

Being away from my family for the New Year celebration, I was determined to keep at least one of the family traditions – the Russian potato salad to celebrate the passing of the old year and the start of the new one.  Luckily, every tapas bar in Spain serves the Russian potato salad.  Slightly altered, with the addition of tuna and olives, the salad still reminded me of home.  Our New Year dinner table also included a large pitcher of red sangria, olives and feta, chorizo, fish, marinated artichokes and bread.

The next day, early at 4am, we embarked on our 24-hour return trip to Seattle.

And just like I thought it would happen, back in Seattle, I was greeted by a large plate of Russian potato salad and a piece of bread with butter and salmon roe caviar – thank you, parents!  It’s going to be a good year!

Please, share your family traditions for celebrating the New Year.  I am wishing you all, my dear snackers, a happy, fulfilling, delicious, and healthy 2012.

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