1- In the American South it is considered good luck to eat black eye peas on New Year’s Day because the peas resemble coins.
2- Another Southern favorite is stewed greens, representing paper money. Who doesn’t want more of that in the new year?!
3- Grapes - The Spanish and Portuguese eat twelve grapes as the clock chimes twelve times for midnight, to symbolize the twelve months of the new year.
4- Pork - To some, the pig’s rotundity represents prosperity.
5- In Greece, when the new year turns, a pomegranate is smashed open to reveal seeds symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. The more seeds, the more luck.
6- Fish are lucky in three ways: their scales resemble coins, they travel in schools, which represents prosperity, and they swim forward, symbolizing progress.
7- In Japan, long buckwheat noodles (soba) symbolize long life, and are therefore lucky—but only if you eat them without chewing or breaking them.
Source: Bon Appetit
We like the Southern good luck charms at our house – peas and greens, please! Here are a few good recipe links if you’d like to treat your taste buds and improve your luck for the New Year:
- Hoppin’ John – from Emeril Lagasse via Food Network
- New Years Southern Style Black Eyed Peas – from Deep South Dish
- Southern Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey Legs – from Divas Can Cook
A delicious accompaniment to the other Southern delicacies mentioned above, maque choux blends the flavors and textures of corn, sweet milk, and the traditional Southern ‘trinity’ of celery, bell peppers, and onion. It is frequently made with meat or seafood, but we served this vegetarian version recently as part of a New Orleans inspired menu, receiving kudos and recipe requests. Go on and give a try, then let me know how you like it – I’ll bet that this tasty side dish will become your new good luck charm.
Click on the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Recipe source: The Gumbo Pages
- 1 dozen ears fresh sweet corn
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- Shuck the corn and remove all of the corn silk. Hold each cob over a bowl and cut the kernels away in layers (don't cut whole kernels), then scrape the knife along the cob to get all of the "milk" out of it.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and tomatoes and sauté until the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper, then add the corn and milk from the cobs, the sugar and evaporated milk and stir well.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until the corn is tender, about 10-15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.