Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day Menu

"Have you had your peas and greens yet?"

That is a common question you'll hear when wishing a Southerner a 'Happy New Year.'  There are certain foods one must eat on January 1st to ensure prosperity in the upcoming year. You've gotta eat some Pork, Black-Eyed Peas, and some Collard Greens. These all taste better with a buttery wedge of Cornbread.

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Pork
Pork is eaten because a pig symbolizes progress. A pig pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving ahead. We're having Slow Cooker Pork Chops. Sidenote...anyone who know me, knows I don't usually eat pork. I'll fix it, but I don't like it. On New Year's Day, I'll have a bite...just to say I ate it.

Black-Eyed Peas
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These legumes have great historical significance in the South. After the Civil War, black-eyed peas saved thousands of Southerners from starvation. It was (I think) the only crop that was not destroyed by the North. Ever resourceful, I'm sure it was a Southern woman who picked some of those peas, and boiled them in fatback to feed her family. My black-eyed peas are just about to go on the stove to simmer for dinner.

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Collard Greens
Greens of any kind symbolize wealth. In the South, we mostly eat collard greens, though some eat turnip greens. Those greens remind people of folded currency. The more you eat, the better your year...or so the story goes. I'll go on record saying the best collard greens I've ever eaten are those YiaYia makes. I've yet to replicate her fabulous greens. I usually 'cheat' and open a can of Margaret Holmes collard greens. I know, I know...you're gasping! But they really are as close to homemade as you can get. Unless I tell them, most people cannot distinguish the difference.

What are you eating today?
Whatever you feast upon, I wish you 
a healthy and happy New Year!

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