Happy New Year!
Hopefully, you’re in the process of making your own version of a New Year’s Day Good Luck Dinner.
In Italy, they eat green lentils and a spicy pork sausage. In Denmark, they eat stewed kale, boiled cod, and pork. And in Poland, they eat pork and sauerkraut.
Personally, I’ve become a big fan of our Southern tradition of eating Hoppin’ John, collard greens, and cornbread.
And I know of no better way of having good luck throughout the year than opening my home to family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy the first dinner of the New Year with us.
Here’s a quick refresher on what we serve and why:
Hoppin’ John is supposedly named after a disabled man who sold beans on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve heard that the beans were actually red beans or cowpeas, and were stewed with bacon and rice. The dish is meant to bring good luck, with the beans symbolizing coins. Since pork isn’t an option in my home, I’ve used organic black-eyed peas and have made three different versions of Hoppin’ John today:
- a super mild one with just onions, celery, diced tomatoes, and Field Roast Apple Sage Sausage
- a medium mild one with the blackened peas cooked through and through to make them super soft and mushy (which a lot of Southerners like my hubby insist on), with onions, celery, red and green peppers, and Tofurky Beer Brats
- a spicy one with red, yellow, orange, and green peppers, Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, loads of garlic, and Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage
Hopefully, there will be something that will please everyone’s palate!
Cornbread symbolizes wealth because it is the color of gold. I’m making both my regular and gluten-free versions this year, and I’m sure both will be delicious.
Ever wonder how many bunches of collard greens you need to feed sixty people?
About a dozen large bunches, which when cleaned and prepped will fill a large cooler. Yep, that’s our cooler of collards pictured above, along with a shameless plug for Fool a Carnivore, which features all of my tasty New Year’s Day recipes.
I’ve cooked my collards with about 8 minced Carolina sweet onions (the fresh white onions with the green tops), 5 cloves of garlic, and a lot of love. Don’t be shocked when your mess of collards cook down – my cooler of raw prepped collards now just fills about 2/3 of a large soup pot.
Why do Southerners eat collards on New Year’s Day? They symbolize “folding money” and frankly, we all could use more green in our pockets in 2015.
I’d love to hear about how you celebrate the first day of 2015!