Happy New Year - Non-Traditional Menu For Luck & Prosperity

A common sentiment as we ring in the new year is good riddance, 2011, bring it 2012.

Many of us had more than our share of burdens and we're more than ready to leave them in the past.

Throughout the world, there are various traditions and superstitions about "lucky" food to be eaten on New Year's Day for good fortune and prosperity.  I first learned there were "lucky foods" when living in Louisiana.  While I don't care for some of the more traditional choices, we've adapted over the years to get the elements of luck and prosperity without compromising taste.  Here is our menu for good fortune, as well as the foods we don't eat as they are said to bring misfortune.

Breakfast::  apple turnovers

Lunch:  baked ham; roasted cabbage; hoppin' john served w/rice; carrot coins, cornbread

Early dinner / snack:  ham & swiss on rye with coleslaw &/or wilted spinach salad

Late evening meal:  bean soup made with meaty ham bone; cornbread

Here's why we make these choices:

Baked goods, including sweets & pastries (symbolize luck)

Pork (symbolizes progress as pigs push forward when they are ready to move as well as prosperity) -  here's one time you do NOT want to go for the leanest cut- get some bacon, ham, hog jowls, fatty roast, etc -  you want flush times, not lean.

Greens (symbolize prosperity) cooked greens with pork is traditional, anything from pork & kraut or a big pot of southern style greens with hog jowl, bacon drippings or a ham hock.  Since we're not fans of either we've found ways to get our greens in without having to choke down something we don't enjoy, which I believe would defeat the purpose.  We seem to prefer most veggies roasted and cabbage is no exception-  use a mild oil or melt a bit of coconut oil in the pan then toss the large chunks with your favorite spices or seasonings.  We make an organic baby spinach salad wilted down with bacon and for the slaw we don't buy the pre-shredded as I usually do but I chop in rough rectangles, again to represent bills in numerous denominations.

Legumes (symbolize prosperity, fortune) said to represent money, specifically coins, in Louisiana it's traditionally hoppin' john made with black-eyed peas, which we don't much care for but eat for tradition JUST IN CASE. ;-)  We also do a many bean soup later in the evening so we get them all in just in case one is luckier than the next.

Rice (symbolizes abundance) for obvious reasons.

Carrots (symbolize prosperity) we do them in coin shapes to represent a multitude of coins.

Cornbread (symbolizes prosperity) we make with a can of whole kernel corn added to represent gold.  (We also add shredded cheese, diced green chilies and cayenne, but that's just because it tastes really good.)

Foods you should not eat on New Years Day include:

Lobster or crab since they move backwards they symbolize lack of progress, going back instead of forward.

Chicken as they scratch backwards they symbolize looking back, dwelling on the past, stagnation.

Any type of winged fowl as this could symbolize your good luck and fortune flying away.

There you have it, our New Year's Day menu and traditions.  Do you do any of these or have any of your own?  We'd love for you to share them with us.

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