Thursday, January 1, 2015

Traditional New Year's Day Foods

Many people have superstitions and in our house, we only have a few...  They are like most people in the south and only in regards to New Year's Day and eating the traditional foods that are said to bring luck, prosperity - good fortune in the year ahead. 

Each year I do my best to purchase my black eyed peas from the grocery store a month or more before the new year.  If you wait to late, you are sometimes scrambling for both your black eyed peas and your cabbage.  Last night I braved a local Walmart and bought one of the last ten heads of cabbage in the store. Rather guiltily I bought two head, because I had to prepare my cabbage two ways, both on the stove top and then raw in a cabbage slaw for the next days lunch.  My black eyed peas I'd bought  a month earlier along with my holiday grocery shopping in the bulk two pound package. 

History says the tradition of cooking black eyed peas comes from the Civil War when Northerner's burnt the Southerner's fields as wars go.  They left the black eyed peas in the fields because they thought they were not meant for people to eat, but for their animals.  The Southerner's made many a meal off their left behind black eyed peas and felt 'lucky' for having them.  A tradition was born. 

I thank my mother, a teacher at heart for this history lesson today as we sat and ate our New Year's Day meal together.  Once a teacher, always a teacher, and from her you know why we eat our black eyed peas. 

As history also tells us collard greens were another food left in the wake of the war and being green in color as was cabbage, the southerner's again felt lucky to have it and with their rich nutrient value helped them survive after the long war and subsequent loss of their food supplies. 

Pork is eaten because they always 'root' or dig in the ground in a forward direction and that in turn leads to 'looking forward' in to the new year ahead.  So, in our house like my husband's growing up, we cook pork ribs because it's his families tradition. I want my girls to always experience some of traditions from the Nolans.  

It was always my  families tradition growing up to eat our cabbage and black eyed peas.  Our youngest daughter turned up her nose today, but she ate it with a smile and as my Grandfather Herbert Young would have said as my mom reminded her, 'Eat it, like you like it!'  Someday her 'educated taste' as he also called it will mature and she'll hopefully love it like we all do.

So today, we ate our lucky foods with The Ranch Kitchen's Black Eyed Peas, Stove Pot Cabbage, Cajun Baby Back Ribs, cornbread,  'Sure' Is the Best Broccoli Rice Casserole and Cole Slaw Dressing.  The cole slaw dressing or 'slaw' as we call it in the south was especially for our Steve since he doesn't like any vegetable cooked.  So he also had his broccoli rice casserole in a side dish without the broccoli or the onions.  I think we might be spoiling him just a little, but we couldn't do what we do on our ranch without him.

Click on the blue'd links below the food dishes for all the recipes. 

Click here for the recipe for Cajun Baby Back Ribs.

Click here for the recipe for Stove Pot Cabbage.

Click here for the recipe for The Ranch Kitchen's Black Eyed Peas.

Click here on the link for  Cole Slaw recipe.

Click here for the recipe for 'Sure' is The Best Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Our meal full of our New Year's Day favorites. 
We were stuffed with plenty of left overs for tonight's meal.

Happy New Year from The Ranch Kitchen and our family to yours!  May you have luck, prosperity, good health and make cherished memories this year! 

1 comment:

carol said...

Thanks for posting interesting information.