Image courtesy of Wikipedia
When it comes to celebrating the arrival of a new year, New Year’s Eve tends to get all the glory. However, in recent years, I’ve found that New Year’s Day has actually become one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. In contrast to the expensive, crowded, over-indulgent celebrations of New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day is an opportunity for a quieter, more personal form of celebration, a time to gather with family and reflect on the close of the holiday season, as well as the new year ahead. And, then, of course, there’s all the good food…that just might have something to do with why I like New Year’s Day.
In the southern United States, there’s a tradition that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring prosperity in the coming year. The origins of the custom are somewhat unclear. Some trace the practice to ancient celebrations of Rosh Hashana, and others trace the custom to the Civil War, following Sherman’s invasion. Regardless of why we do it, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is the foundation of one of my favorite holiday meals.
Where there are black-eyed peas, you must also have collard greens. Corn bread is a natural accompaniment, as well. Some southern families enjoy ham or pork with their New Year’s dinner, but in our house, we’re all about seafood. Our usual meal is fried catfish or tilapia, but this year, we’re tinkering with tradition a little and having shrimp and cheese grits. Either way, the meal shapes up to be a sampler of traditional southern comfort food perfect for the family to gather around,
While the internet may be bigger than my dining room table, in my heart, I wish you all a heaping helping of black-eyed peas and, with it, joy and prosperity in the new year. 2010 was an exciting year for our little family, and it’s been a joy to share it with you. I look forward to even more fun and more blogging in the year to come, and I hope you’ll stick around for what’s to come.
Happy New Year, y’all!