Yesterday I succumbed to an “Old School” tradition and cooked the New Year’s Day meal that has been a constant in my family since forever. I used to say these were African American dishes, but from years of sharing traditions with the readers of this blog, I’ve come to realize that other races embrace many of the same traditions, sayings, and beliefs as Black people. (see the comments on my favorite southern sayings link)
My daughter had just returned from a trip yesterday and a long airport lay-over, but when she learned that I’d made these favorites, she hurried over. Today, my sister-in-law and niece are coming for leftovers.
My menu consisted of collard greens, black-eyed peas, rice, cornbread, and catfish. The traditional meat is pork and I used smoked pork neckbones to infuse more flavor into my greens, but I also served fried catfish.
Collard Greens represent wealth.
Black-eyed peas represent coins, luck, or prosperity (rice is a favorite accompaniment of peas and beans).
Cornbread represents gold. Eating it brings hope of extra money in the new year.
Pork represent prosperity and progress because unlike chickens or turkeys, pigs root ahead as they eat and not backwards.
Happy 2022 to you and your families. I hope that the new year will bring new hopes, joys, accomplishments, and good health. Thank you for your comments, and I invite your continued help and support in 2022.