DO Ice Magic
The cold snap might make for cold toes in the morning, but it’s a great opportunity to make some freezable art. Why not use a walk to collect beautiful natural objects, then freeze them into temporary pieces. They look spectacular hung outside windows or in trees, where they catch and refract the pale winter sun. We adore these simple-but-breathtaking artworks made by using found objects and naturally formed shards of ice and these festive, wintry ice luminaries, which contrast red berries with green pine needles beautifully. Alternatively, explore the science behind the big chill with some fun experiments and games. Little Bins for Little Hands has a great selection – try the fizzing castle melt and frozen hands.
EVENT Patti Power
See in New Year with a pow(er to the people)! Patti Smith is set to ring in 2021 with a ten-minute midnight performance beamed from Piccadilly Circus’ famous billboards. A tribute to the Herculean efforts of NHS and care workers this year, the installation by digital artist Josef O’Connor will combine art, music, poetry and prose, including footage from Anne Imhof, winner of the Venice Art Biennale 2017. Of course, government restrictions mean that very, very few of us will view it in person, but the show will also be streamed live here from 11.45pm
RECIPES and LEARN New Year’s Recip-lution
Many countries have special New Year’s Day recipes that bring luck and love over the next few months. It’s fun to try a few – if the good fortune doesn’t emerge, at least you’ll have had a tasty treat. Find out why Italians regard lentils as lucky and a deliciously simple and warming New Year soup recipe here (it’s even perfect for babies). German Bundt – ring-shaped cakes, are sometimes baked with little toys inside and are a symbol of coming full circle. Try Mary Berry’s cherry version. In Spain, it’s considered lucky to pop a grape in your mouth for every stroke of midnight – if you can’t manage that (or are worried someone will choke) then try serving these delicious Roasted Grape Goat Cheese Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Grape Crostini. Cornbread is considered a lucky January 1 snack in the deep south of the USA, and it’s so, so easy to make – find a recipe here. In Greece, families throw a pomegranate against their front door for luck, the more seeds that fall out, the more luck and fertility you’ll have! If you have any left over, try making some of these recipes (Rose Meringues with Pomegranate and Cauliflower Soup with Pomegranate and Coriander both sound heavenly).
DO and RECIPE Vegging Out
Many, many, many of us (over a million since 2014) go vegan for January in Veganuary. The new year is a great time to try an animal product-free lifestyle, or, if you’re already following a plant-based diet, to try some new ideas. It’s easy for vegan packed lunches to get a bit repetitive, so head to the Veganuary website to make a pledge to eat vegan, find some practical ideas for batch-baked, time-saving, yet delicious recipes, and some tasty options for school and work meals-on-the-go. Find out more about vegan trends to expect in 2021 here; we are looking forward to ‘milk’ chocolate and more choice of vegan ‘fish’ and ‘pork’, and get the lowdown on 2021’s vegan product launches here; vegan Krispy Kremes, anyone?
DO Tramps Like Us
’Tis the season to get walking! Stroll off some of your mince-pie-and-potato bloat with a wild wander. Potter among the ponies in the beautiful New Forest, try one of our favourite winter walks, or test-hike an old favourite selected by the Ramblers. Perhaps you might like a tramp with a theme – try a walk into history, a ramble with a view or try one of Julia Bradbury’s favourite family friendly treks across National Trust land.
****Don’t forget! The Big Garden Bird Watch takes place January 29–31. Sign up today to be sure to get all the information you need ahead of time****
Happy New Year to you from all of us at The Green Parent! Sending all our wishes for a bright, healthy, and joy-filled 2021.
What we’ve been reading this week:
Reasons to be hopeful in 2021 “2020 has been a difficult year, but there are some glints of light in the gloom. From nature-friendly farms to anti-ageing worms and even a way of conjuring vodka out of thin air, here are a few nuggets of good cheer to look forward to in 2021.” Read more here
Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate