We know that you might still be busy spending time with your family between the holidays. But what to do with the last days of the year? We’ve got five of the South’s most buzzworthy to-dos this week just for you.
1. San Antonio’s Cured. There’s nothing we love around the holidays more than a feel-good story. Take the new San Antonio restaurant from chef Steve McHugh and the double meaning behind its name, Cured. The chef, who cooked under John Besh for more than a decade, celebrates his recovery from non-Hodgkins lymphoma and his menu is packed with 11 cured meats from hogshead cheese to South Texas heritage pork coppa. You can even feel good about overindulging–a dollar from each charcuterie board is donated to a rotating nonprofit.
2. Outdoor Ice-Skating. Take advantage of the chillier temps around the region and wrangle up the rugrats for a winter-only ice-skating rink. In Oklahoma City, you can still skate today through January 3 at the Devon Ice Rink in the Myriad Botanical Gardens and on Friday, a live deejay will be spinning tunes. You don’t have to look far to find an outdoor rink near you–there are spots to skate all over the South such as the ones in Manassas, Virginia, Fort Worth, Texas, and Tampa, Florida–but just get your double axel on before the thaw.
3. Cozy Nashville-made scarves. With plenty of cold days and nights ahead, we’ll be bundling up with one of Louisville-born Han Starnes’ cowl scarfs. Han spent two years on the other side of the world learning about natural fibers from experts in New Zealand and came back to Nashville where she runs a knitwear label, Josi Faye, named after her mom. It’s easy to stay warm–and make a wintry sartorial statement–with one of her scarves made from handspun yarn.
4. New Year’s Eve in Marfa, Texas. If you still haven’t nailed down fun NYE plans but know you’ll be near one of Texas’ coolest little towns this week, unpack your bags at El Cosmico. The 18-acre hotel and campground kicks off their 2014 festivities at 8 p.m. on Tuesday with a photo booth, a deejay, and a midnight mulled wine and champagne toast. Nod off in your trailer, tent, or teepee, and then in the morning, eat your first meal of the year cooked by chef Cat Cox.
5. Black-eyed Peas. Start your year off right with a true Southern tradition: At Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Virginia, chef David Guas will be ringing in 2014 with a “Chew Dat” special of 18-Hour Black-eyed Peas with Edward’s Country Ham, 8-Hour Braised Collard Greens with Benton’s Bacon, cider vinegar, and red chili flakes. They’ll be served alongside fresh cornbread ground from George Washington’s own gristmill on Wednesday. You’ll also find the lucky peas gracing New Year’s Eve dinner menus on Tuesday night at South City Kitchen in Atlanta and Cru Café in Charleston. And if you’d rather make your own luck, we’ve got plenty of recipes.