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A Guide for Throwing a Memorable New Year's Day Party

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I'm a pretty big traditionalist. I throw similar dining events at my home year after year because I love revisiting food memories. It's nice the way the smell of a certain dish evokes time spent with old friends, but the best part is introducing my time-tested traditions to new guests. One of the best of them all is the New Year's Day meal I've been enjoying for as long as I can remember.

A meal of pork and cabbage on the first day of the new year is a food tradition that straddles many cultures, but the German tradition is the best in my eyes. If you buy great ingredients and handle them with care you'll end up with a meal that fills your house with an absolutely intoxicating aroma. This meal scales easily too, so you'll also be able to feed a whole army of friends.

Bolsa Mercado has freshly made sauerkraut in stock as we speak. Its by far the best option in Dallas and beats prepackaged versions sold in cans and bags by a long shot. Freshly made kraut retains the chewy texture and aroma of raw cabbage, and the fermented flavors are much more mild. I like to simmer mine with caraway seeds and a few juniper berries for extra flavor.

The market also sells fresh bratwurst that are quite good. Last year I served sausages from Bolsa Mercado and Kuby's, and Jeff Harris' links were favored by the majority of my guests.

Kuby's, of course, sells all sorts of sausages if you're looking to offer your guests with a large variety, but my favorite reason to come here is the endless assortment of mustard, pickles and other condiments guests always love to load their plates with. The German deli also sells the apple and cherry strudels I never can be bothered to make on my own. Toss one in your oven while your sausages simmer and add another layer of aroma to your kitchen.

Finally hit your favorite beer store and pick up all the German bottles you can find. I told you this was a party and a fridge filled with a wide assortment of beers welcomes guests to explore and find their own favorites. It's the last touch that takes a makes a good event great. While the memories may get a little hazy with too much of the suds, your friends will not forget this meal. And they'll be nosing around for a repeat invite at the end of next year.

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