I’m talking about the food–although the president (and both houses of Congress) will be in full force in 2005, too. A couple of days ago I raved about How to Eat Like a Republican, Susanne Grayson Townsend’s wonderful new cookbook packed with recipes for tasty, unpretentious, simple-to-prepare but surprisingly sophisticated dishes beloved of Middle America. (See Eating Like a Republican, Dec. 27).

It turns out that many, many more Republican recipes–with a holiday twist–are to be found on Lucianne Goldberg’s website. She’s now got five full threads filled with  readers’ contributions of hearty, tasty Yuletide favorites, many of which look perfect for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. You have to scroll around for what you like among the appetizers, main dishes, and desserts, but here are a couple treats that strike me as scrumptious, lifted verbatim from the first thread:

Parmesan Crackers

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or any parmesan cheese even the pre-grated will do for this.

Put everything in the food processer and pulse until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and form it into a log 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill until firm, a least 2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two baking sheets. Cut log into 1/4 inch disks and place them an inch apart on the sheets. Bake for 12 mintues. Remove from oven turn heat to 500 and return for a few minutes until golden brown. Let cool on rack.

Makes approximatly 40 crackers. They disappear almost immediately.

Bacon, Horseradish, And Clam Dip

Serve this full-flavored dip with a good quality potato chip.

Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cup Sour cream
1/2 cup Clams, chopped (canned)
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Horseradish
3 Tablespoons Bacon, cooked, chopped
1 teaspoon Onion, minced

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve chilled.
So bon appetit, and break out the champagne! The Other Charlotte and I will be off for the next few days having a merry little New Year’s but will return on Monday, Jan. 3. And don’t forget to save some charity for the tsunami victims, who need us now. The death toll is now up to 80,000, and if you don’t have a preferred charity, Amazon will collect your online donation, forward 100 percent of it to the American Red Cross, and e-mail you a receipt. So far, Amazon says it’s more than collected $2 million–not bad for us Americans whom the U.N. has (natch) accused of being “stingy.”