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Dec 31, 2008 08:18 AM

New Year's Day - what is your food tradition?

Growing up in NE PA, we always had pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes on New Years Day (i hated it back then, but love it now). I've lived in the south now for 12 years and here it's black-eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread and pork. My understanding is that the greens represent money/prosperity and pigs represent progress.

I've always made pork and sauerkraut and would like to know what you do with your pork chops/loin roast/sausages? What traditions did your family practice when you were young that you continue on with now? My parents always allowed us to stay up until midnight at which time we went on the front porch with whistles, noisemakers and pan lids to clang and scream "Happy New Year!"

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  1. Chinese Food of course.....usually the only places open for business...

    1. It's ham, collards and black eyed peas for us. We were always taught that the collards are folding money and the peas are coins! Usually we add cheese grits and cornbread to the meal - sweet potatoes too if we're feeling ambitious. We are very superstitious about this - we never skip the ritual meal. The last year I didn't eat it was the year I married my ex-husband. 'Nuf said.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lupaglupa

        LOL, lupaglupa! Yes, I've noticed that many Southerners are diehards with this meal. It's a must. Funny, as long as I've here in NC I've never had a traditional Southern NYD meal. I'm not a big black-eyed pea fan and am very picky about my collards.

        Enjoy your meal tomorrow! :)

        1. re: lynnlato

          The trick is to get purple hull peas - not the usual black eyes. They are far superior - they stay slightly firm when cooked. Also, black eyed peas (even the purple hulls) are pretty bland and need to bea eaten with relish. Preferably my grandmother's homemade - but any good chili relish adds a lot to the taste.

        2. re: lupaglupa

          for us it's always black eyed peas and collards. This year I took the carcass of a few smoked chickens and put them in the pressure cooker along with some aromatics. The stock was golden brown with a nice smoked taste and gelled nicely. I cooked my peas, and this year mustard greens into this stock and made a New Years soup.

        3. We always have black-eyed peas. But after 17 years of (now-regretted) vegetarianism, I can barely bring a spoon of several types of legume to my mouth. Black-eyes are the second worst, behind only white crowder peas, and barely a step ahead of black beans. (Did I mention I lived in the South for several of those 17 years?)

          About five years ago, I found a way to welcome good luck in the new year with food I could stomach: I now have my black-eyed peas whirled into a garlicky hummus-like spread, made with lime juice instead of lemon and almond butter instead of tahini. The lime and almonds obliterate the dirt flavor, and grinding gets rid of the mealy texture.

          I actually even look forward to them now. But I'll never eat another crowder pea if I can possibly help it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dmd_kc

            Dmd, that black-eyed pea hummus sounds good - espeically the almond butter part. I may have to give that a whirl (pun intended). :)

            Just curious... what do you mean by now regretted vegetarianism???

            1. re: dmd_kc

              dmd_kc - You may want to try cooking your black eyed peas with either a ham hock or a smoked turkey wing. It gives them a nice smokey flavor.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Sam, what is it? Is there meaning behind this dish?

                1. re: lynnlato

                  "Washoku" just distinguishes between Japanese food and foreign inspired foods, "yoshoku". Will make some traditional Japanese foods.

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Oh, I see! Sorry, Sam, forgive my ignorance <blushing>. :)

              2. Gotta have jook! For starters roasted asparagus is also a must. Home made croissants. Some sort of long noodle for long life. And some char siu bao (sp?).