Kicking off the New Year

By Mary Marek
Posted 1/6/00

Well, we did it. We made it past midnight on January 1, 2000, without all the lights going out or the banks losing our money or any of the other dire predictions that have been floating around for …

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Kicking off the New Year


Well, we did it. We made it past midnight on January 1, 2000, without all the lights going out or the banks losing our money or any of the other dire predictions that have been floating around for the past several months.

As far as I can see, Y2K was the biggest nonevent of the century, and perhaps, the millennium.

How many of you stayed up until midnight Friday evening to see the new year and the new century and the new millennium in? Well, if you did, except for the new year, which it is, you were a year too early for the new century and millennium. I don’t think they actually start until the year 2001.

I mean, think about it. A century is one hundred years, right? Well, if you start counting with the year “1”, you won’t have completed a hundred years until the end of the year “100”. So, the year “2000” is actually the last year in the 20th century, not the first year of the 21st. And we won’t start a new millennium until the 2000th year of the current one ends.

So, the whole world just spent a fortune on fireworks and other special events to celebrate something that won’t happen for twelve more months.

But that’s just my opinion.

As soon as New Year’s Eve was over, the New Year’s football bowl game marathon started. I lost track of how many college football games Jim watched last weekend. There was the Orange Bowl, the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Holiday Bowl and for all I know, the Peanut Bowl, the Alligator Bowl and the Toilet Bowl. And if there wasn’t a college bowl game going on, there was a professional football game to watch.

As I typed that last bit, I realized the phrase “professional football game” is an oxymoron. How can a “game” be “professional”?

I know I’ve told you how I feel about sports. What is the big deal about watching a bunch of people you don’t even know play a game? Who cares who won the Rose Bowl? Why should we care who won the Orange Bowl. How will Green Bay playing in the SuperBowl make my life better?

In order to spend a little time with my husband this weekend, I actually sat down and watched part of a football game with him. The Green Bay Packers were playing the Arizona Cardinals (when did the Cardinals move out of St. Louis? I guess I haven’t been paying attention.). On the line for the Packers, besides trying to beat the Cardinals, was the opportunity to maybe get to play in the playoffs, which would give them the opportunity to maybe play in the SuperBowl.

In order for the Packers to play in the playoffs, not only did they have to beat Arizona, they had to end the season with more net points (all the points they scored this season minus all the points the teams they played against scored) than the Carolina Panthers, who were playing the New Orleans Saints at the same time the Packers – Cardinals game was going on.

It was close. It seemed like every time the Packers made a touchdown in Green Bay, Carolina scored wherever they were playing. But Green Bay pulled it off. They beat the Cardinals and ended the season with more net points than Carolina. Looking back, the Cardinals and the Saints could have just stayed home Sunday. The real game was between Carolina and Green Bay.

So, now they will maybe get to play in the playoffs unless the Cowboys beat the Giants in a game I have no intention of watching. If the Cowboys win, they get to go to the playoffs. If the Giants win, it’ll be Green Bay. But, if the Cowboys and Giants tie, that means Carolina will get to go because they beat Green Bay when they played them during the regular season.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find all this just a little silly?

To be honest, I almost enjoyed watching the game. When Green Bay intercepted a pass at the 1-yard line and moved the ball 99 yards in four plays in about a minute and a half to score a touchdown, I actually got just a little bit excited. And watching Green Bay return a kick 88 yards for a touchdown was actually fun to watch. Although I doubt the Cardinals thought so.

Late Breaking News Flash

Unfortunately, all the speculation and postulating was for naught. The Cowboys shut out the Giants so they’ll head to the playoffs Green Bay and Carolina can stay home and watch the playoffs and SuperBowl on TV like all the rest of us.

Enough about football. In fact, that’s enough about everything for this week. Hope you all had a Happy New Year and may the year 2000 be a good one.

This week’s recipes

I decided to use a couple of ham recipes this week. No special reason why; they just sound good.

My friend, Tina, decided the recipes need a little artwork so she drew a ham for me. Or is it a festive party hat? You decide.

Cherry Baked Ham

1 can (3 – 4 1/2 lb.) ham

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

Cherry Sauce

1-1/2 tbls.cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp.allspice

1/4 tsp.ground cloves

1 can red sour pitted cherries

Remove ham from can. Place ham, fat side up, on shallow pan. Combine brown sugar and honey, spoon over ham. Bake in slow oven at 325 deg. for 1 1/4 - 2 hours. Baste occasionally with drippings.

Cherry Sauce

Combine dry ingredients. Slowly add juice from cherries. Cook until thick and clear. Add cherries and red food coloring (just enough to bring out the red) Serve hot, spooned over baked ham.

Serves 4

Apricot Glazed Baked Ham

Fully cooked ham (Hormel Cure)

Whole cloves

1/4 to 1/2 cup orange marmalade

1 (3 oz.) package dried apricots

1/4 cup apricot brandy, apple juice or apricot nectar

1/4 teaspoon paprika

Score ham on top in diamond shapes and place whole cloves at points where lines intersect. Place ham in oval casserole or baking dish. Brush ham with marmalade. Microwave on High 10 minutes. In meantime, combine apricots, brandy, and paprika in batter bowl. Microwave on High 3 minutes. Arrange apricots over ham, and pour over or brush on remaining glaze. Microwave on 70% power 10-15 minutes, or until temperature registers 120-130 degrees on meat thermometer or probe, if using. Tent with foil. Slice after 15 minutes standing time.