New Years food traditions?

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New Years food traditions?

Postby Jenise » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:19 pm

There were none in my immediate family. We didn't entertain at home at all, and there was never any company or any parties we went to. My grandmother, a quietly devout Christian Scientist, would often come over, as she did at most holidays, and join in whatever we were doing, which was mostly watching the Rose Parade and just hanging out. So with all of that it was something of a surprise to learn much later that at home she had all along observed a private little tradition of eating black eyed peas for breakfast on New Years Day, and that she would carefully count each one she ate and not stop until she'd consumed exactly 365 of them for luck each day of the coming year.

Of course I then learned from my Texan husband that variations of this, though not usually as dogmatic, are not uncommon in the South. And so I adopted this practice, too. I don't count the peas, but a bowl of black eyed peas is a typical New Years Day lunch for us.

Any traditions at your house?
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Jeff B » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:30 pm

No traditions that are set in stone but we tend to order a pizza on New Years Eve.

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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:45 pm

Mary says it's not black-eyed peas alone. Rather, "beans and greens" are necessary to the fortune thing, the addition of "green" being as obvious as the color of money. She jokingly eats a few with kale or collards, some New Year's Days. I don't like black-eyed peas and I didn't grow up with, or believe, the tradition, so I say the hell with it.

Of course, this might help explain why I am not rich. :lol:
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:41 pm

I can't recall that we cooked anything special on New Year's eve. I was usually on a date, but not being the party type and probably had to be at the rink the next day anyway for practice, wanted to keep it to an early shut down time. However, many years ago and after the kids left, I started making any dish on New Year's day that was a no, no type of food for us. For a long time it was fried chicken and potatoes with golden browned onions, in butter! After I learned to make a roasted kind of fried chicken, that dropped off to appetizer type of foods. Last year it was clam dip with Lay's Classic potato chips. This year I am making spinach dip, to serve with sourdough bread slices. Not that bad, because I use the good non-fat sour cream, and less mayo. We never indulge in food like this anymore ..... PITY PARTY and I usually feel a bit off when I do, so wonder if it is worth it. Yep! :)
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:46 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Mary says it's not black-eyed peas alone. Rather, "beans and greens" are necessary to the fortune thing, the addition of "green" being as obvious as the color of money. She jokingly eats a few with kale or collards, some New Year's Days. I don't like black-eyed peas and I didn't grow up with, or believe, the tradition, so I say the hell with it.

Of course, this might help explain why I am not rich. :lol:

I don't know Robin, I guess it depends on what you interput "rich" to mean. You eat well, talk very fondly of Mary, so I assume you love her a lot. You have a roof over your head, a lovely yard, eat at good places, have good friends, travel, and seem to be a gentleman and very jolly...what more do you want? :wink:
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Frank Deis » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:13 pm

We've been eating black eyed peas and collards for years, but it was some time before I learned about the tie in with money -- that beans are coins and collards are dollar bills. Same thing with "Gung Hay Fat Choy" for the Chinese New Year, which is basically "make lots of money".

It wasn't part of my family tradition. "Southern" food has a lot of sub-categories, and we never had anything with hot sauce, and I didn't learn about grits until grad school (in Charlottesville). Grits, black-eyed peas, and collards are more "soul food" so I had to find them on my own. My grandmother tended to cook kale instead of collards. There may have been some black eyed peas once in a while.

At any rate I've been eating BEP and collards since my twenties -- when they were very hard to find in New Jersey, and impossible to find in Vermont. Things have changed so much. I like both, and we might make some spoonbread as well, which WAS something my grandma used to make.

Because there is a tradition that whatever you do on New Years Day, you will keep doing all year, there are certain things I try to do on NYD.
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Jenise » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:17 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Mary says it's not black-eyed peas alone. Rather, "beans and greens" are necessary to the fortune thing, the addition of "green" being as obvious as the color of money. She jokingly eats a few with kale or collards, some New Year's Days. I don't like black-eyed peas and I didn't grow up with, or believe, the tradition, so I say the hell with it.

Of course, this might help explain why I am not rich. :lol:


I never knew this! In Grammy's version, it was just about luck. So just now I asked Bob what the black eyed peas of his childhood were like.

"Out of a can with bacon and ketchup on top. Just like pork and beans."

So I asked if collards were ever involved. "Nope. Remember," he said sarcatically, "she never poisoned us with fresh vegetables." When I explained about the symbolization of money, he added, "Well that's why we were always poor, then!"

:)
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:41 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:...what more do you want? :wink:

Good point! Thanks for the reality check, Karen! :)
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Re: New Years food traditions?

Postby Carrie L. » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:31 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Mary says it's not black-eyed peas alone. Rather, "beans and greens" are necessary to the fortune thing, the addition of "green" being as obvious as the color of money.


I used to date someone from NC and he said it was Black-Eyed Peas and Stewed "Tomaters."
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