Here in the South, New Year's Day brings a whole new mess of meaning to the table, from good fortune to a long life. While traditional Southern dishes are enjoyed year-round, failure to incorporate the most symbolic on New Year's Day is very bad luck. Cook up some good luck foods like collard greens and black-eyed peas, and you'll be livin' in high cotton in the year to come.
For extra luck, cook everything with pork on New Year's Eve. The more pig involved in the meal, the more luck it brings. The pig is a symbol of forward moving, so the more you eat for the New Year the more prosperous you will be. If you're fixin' to make the proper supper, then y'all best be fixin' these traditionally Southern good luck foods from the United States.
Nothing soaks up fatback or pork tenderloin like a chunk of cornbread. A staple in a Southern supper, cornbread is especially important on a Southern New Year's Day. The color is considered to represent gold, and eating it is thought to bring you spending money in the prosperous new year.
For deeper pockets, toss in some corn kernels. Representing nuggets of gold, the kernels will make you that much richer in the eyes of Southern tradition. Get the Southern Skillet Cornbread recipe here.
2. Collard Greens
Now, leafy greens don't mean just any old collards. In the South, there is a proper way to slow-cook collards and it involves pork. You simply can't prepare Southern greens without rendering it in fat, so pair it with pork chops.
Green like the color of money, this is one Southern staple you don't want to miss. Eat a whole mess of these lucky foods on New Year's Day, otherwise, your luck may run out. Make the best dern tootin' collards with this recipe.
3. Black-Eyed Peas
One of the most popular New Year's Day traditions is a mess of black-eyed peas - 365 of them to be exact. Some choose to eat one pea per day in a year. However, the more you eat, the more luck you will have. The reason is black-eyed peas are said to represent pennies in the American South. Over time, they add up to more wealth. They also swell as you cook, getting more out of each pea.
For extra luck, throw a silver coin in the pot. Whoever gets the coin will have the most prosperous year. Or, to bring some luck to everyone on the table, place a penny under each bowl. After all, it couldn't hurt.
Get the recipe for Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas here.
4. Hoppin' John
Hoppin' John is a low country dish consisting of spicy black-eyed peas, rice, and fatback or ham hock. Consisting of all that is good on New Year's day, it's like one big pot of money.
So how did this pot of luck get its name? Well, that's up for debate. One version of the story involves a man named Hoppin' John selling the dish on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, and the other involves children hopping around before eating their meal. Either way, it certainly couldn't hurt your luck.
5. Hog Jowl
If you aren't familiar with this portion of the pig, hog jowl is the cheek. It is typically added to season or enhances the flavor of a dish. Toss it in the pot with the black-eyed peas and let them soak up all that rich, fatty goodness.
While hog jowl does represent wealth, it also ensures good health. I mean, if you don't got your health, then what are you going to do with all that money?
Learn how to make your own hog jowl with this recipe.