New Year's Food Traditions

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saucywench

Found on the 'Net somewhere:
New Year's Food Traditions
  • Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan.
  • A German/Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's day for good luck.
  • It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. The 12 grapes signify the last twelve months of the year.
  • German folklore says that eating herring at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the next year.
  • Eating pickled herring as the first bite of the New Year brings good luck to those of Polish descent.
  • In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's eve will bring luck for the coming year.
  • Also from the south comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money.
  • One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.
  • The Southern custom of eating greens can be found in other cultures as well, although the cabbage can take many forms, such as sauerkraut or even kimchee.
  • In the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to insure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.
  • Boiled Cod is a New Year's Eve must in Denmark.
  • Olie Bollen a donut-like fritter is popular in Holland for New Year.
  • Black-eyed peas, fish, apples, and beets are eaten for luck at the Jewish New Year's celebration (not celebrated on Jan 1).
I was in chat and asked around (before I had to wind up Googling and found the above) about something--I couldn't remember whether eating blackeyed peas (and hog jowls, in this case) was a tradition celebrated on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Some weren't aware of this tradition, so I figured it must be a southern thing, and apparently it is. Anyway, I've found my answer, so I'm off to the kitchen to put the peas on. Fortunately, peas are softer than beans, so I won't have to soak them very long. I know more what to do with salt pork (dredged in flour, then fried) than hog jowl, though (I guess I'll use it as flavoring for the peas, although I'm assuming I could do the same with it as I do with the salt pork). I'll also make some cornbread (in a seasoned iron skillet, of course) and some cabbage, for good measure. Sounds like typical southern fare to me. :D Have a happy new year, everyone.
 

EvilPrincess

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Throw that hog jowl right in with those greens! During my tour of the south, the rule of thumb is, when in doubt add pork. I have used hocks as well. Try just a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar toward the end of the cooking. In South Carolina, Hoppin' John was the thing to eat, black eyed peas and rice cooked together. I thought it was great, you also served it with greens and cornbread. Have a great New Year!
 

Jane

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I've always thought the blackeyed peas, etc. tradition in the South came from this:

If, here, in the middle of the winter, you still had cabbage, peas, salted pork, and corn to make cornmeal, you were having a Great year!!!!

Enjoy, y'all!!!!
 

jamie

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We always had fried cabage with a quarter cooked in it and cornbread.
 

pani

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Thank you for posting this! I had forgotten about the Polish herring custom. My grandpa used to do this every year! It was always special getting up with him at 12p.m, even though I hate pickled herring! I was at a First Night party in Evanston, IL which ended in Fire Works at the Lake Front. I guess I could have brought a bit of herring if I had really tried.
 

Cynthia

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I dredged this up from my old photos in honor of today. Happy New Year's to all (... or perhaps I should say "y'all").

 

r-nadiv

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Ingredients:

*

Two medium sweet potatoes or yams (or one enormous one)
*

Three carrots
*

10 or 12 prunes (pitted)
*

Large handful of raisins
*

3 - 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
*

1 teaspoon of cinnamon
*

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Soak the prunes overnight in water so that they expand. Slice the carrots and sweet potatoes (or yams) into small slices. Boil the carrots and sweet potatoes (or yams) on a medium flame until they are tender. Stir frequently so that they do not stick to the bottom and burn and add water if necessary.

When the carrots and sweet potatoes (or yams) are nice and tender, put them into a baking dish and add the other ingredients. Stir them together and bake them uncovered in a medium oven, about 350 degrees, until the moisture begins to disappear.

When the mixture begins to look thick, but not dry, take it out. It is delicious as a festive side dish with meat or chicken. It's very easy to reheat and can be made ahead of time and warmed up prior to serving.

For a variation, try adding dry apricots. Also cooking a small apple with the carrots and sweet potatoes is a nice variation. Try also with marshmellows on top.

PS

jamie said:
We always had fried cabage with a quarter cooked in it and cornbread.
How come the quarter?
 

jamie

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r-nadiv said:
How come the quarter?
Well there was the hope that the quarter would mean that there would be money in the new year. By the by, it never worked.
 
S

saucywench

Cynthia said:
I dredged this up from my old photos in honor of today. Happy New Year's to all (... or perhaps I should say "y'all").

Isn't that the old blue-hair joint in Knoxville? My (former) best friend and I ate there back in November after her doc appt. at UT. We were looking for something on the cheap that wasn't fast food and serendipitously came across this place in a 60s-era strip mall. The ambience was still classic 60s and the people-watching was quite entertaining. The food wasn't that great but ok (maybe it was just one of those off days as, normally, I can find pretty much anything palatable in these types of establishments.) I am trying to remember what I ordered: trout almondine, slaw, green beans, some type of casserole (maybe broccoli-cheese), a big hunk of garlic Texas toast, iced tea, and coconut cream pie for dessert. For comparison, if you're ever in Little Rock you should try Franke's Cafeteria, which (copied off the Internet) "has been around since 1919, and here you can enjoy pit-cooked ham with turnips and greens, escalloped eggplant casserole and corn pones." Years ago egg custard was one of their claims to fame until the health department nixed that dish because of salmonella concerns. But the eggplant casserole, another standard, is to die for--always good (and good FOR you!:bow:) A couple of months ago I dined there with my mom. We were in line and she selected this funky-looking cornbread thing. I looked at it and said, what is THAT?!, to which she replied that is was corn pone, something that they had always served, and which she orders every time she eats at Franke's because you can't get it anywhere else, and it reminded her of her childhood. Now THAT's southern tradition for you. :eat2:
 

Cynthia

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saucywench said:
Isn't that the old blue-hair joint in Knoxville? ...
That particular sign happens to be on the GA-SC border. (BTW, I love eggplant casserole too, and the dish at S&S is one of the best around.)

Yep, S&S is one of those long-standing restaurants that crystallized the Old South experience for blue-haired ladies well into the 70s. When I was a young child, the gold-coated waiters were still painstakingly adjusting to serving other black people in the post-segregation era. It was almost as through my family, neighbors, and I were encroaching on a hidden, anachronistic world – observing rituals that we were never meant to see. As I grew older, I suspected that those nice old gentlemen felt like relics of the past and were self-conscious in their role as living history actors of a sort, perpetually lined up along the walls and grinning with perfect posture, ready to ask Mrs. Johnson or Miss Susie about the health of their prize-winning backyard tomato plants.

I have scads of S&S memories, and it’s a fascinating lens onto the evolution of the South. Thanks for starting such an interesting thread.
 
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saucywench

*bumpity-bump*

So...what food-related New Year traditions might you engage in?
 

goofy girl

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I've never had any New Years food traditions (or any other New Years traditions in fact) BUT I am very excited for our plan this year...Take out thai! :D
 

ChubbyBubbles

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I'm from Pennsylvania so pork, saurkraut and mashed potatoes are a New Year's must! That's what me and my family will be feasting on this Tuesday. :eat1:
 

Surlysomething

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This is quite interesting.


When my Grandma was alive and my sister's and I used to spend New Year's at her house while my parent's were out painting the town red she always used to give us Jewish wine. It was non-alcoholic. I'm not sure where she got the idea from as we're not Jewish but it sticks in my head as an interesting New Year's memory


Happy 2008!
 

ashmamma84

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I've always eaten black eyed peas (or hoppin' johns) on New Year's Day...usually with white rice, greens and corn bread.
 

ValentineBBW

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My family has had a long standing tradition for New Years Day of an all you can eat food day. We make dips, cheese balls, deviled eggs, potato salad, little smokies in whiskey sauce, ham or ham loaf. Snacking starts as early as you want, usually no earlier than 10:00, although in the past few year the start has gotten later and later. Anything is fair game and you eat whenever, however you want.

2008 Menu:

Southwest Dip - single batch
Blue cheese ball
Clam Dip - single batch
Oyster Dip - single batch
Little Smokies in whiskey sauce
Deviled Eggs
Ham Loaf

I won't tell you how many batches we made in years past :blush:. Thankfully we've scaled way back.
 

mossystate

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Now that I think of it...my Dad would usually make a pork roast, then place hunks of it in sauerkraut and serve it over mashed potatoes. On both sides of his family, there is lots of German and Polish blood. On my Mom's side, it is a lot of English and German. I think I have sauerkraut juice running throught my veins.That is one of my all time favorite meals.

I have a pork roast in the freezer..aaaaand..a big jar of sauerkraut...aaaaaand...taters...uhoh..I think I know what I am having on Tuesday!

:eat2:
 

Dr. Feelgood

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I always assumed you ate black-eyed peas on New Year's Day because it would make whatever else you ate during the year seem like an improvement. :eat1:
 

goofy girl

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I always assumed you ate black-eyed peas on New Year's Day because it would make whatever else you ate during the year seem like an improvement. :eat1:
I never knew how it came about, but I knew that was a common thing to do on New Years..kinda like turkey on Thanksgiving.

I just found this:
Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

Still doesn't really answer the question though. Now I gotta go find out why they are considered lucky.
 

William

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Neck Bones are sweeter than jowls

Chef William


Throw that hog jowl right in with those greens! During my tour of the south, the rule of thumb is, when in doubt add pork. I have used hocks as well. Try just a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar toward the end of the cooking. In South Carolina, Hoppin' John was the thing to eat, black eyed peas and rice cooked together. I thought it was great, you also served it with greens and cornbread. Have a great New Year!
 

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