I would like to share with my non southern friends some of the New Years day traditions taught to me as a child by my parents which I faithfully carry out to this day. I dare say that my generation will be the last for this nonsense but I’ll do these things until I die every New Years day.

One must not do any wash. I don’t know why except it can bring bad luck throughout the year and Gigi is fine with this rule.  

One must not take out any ashes. You can clean your fireplace but it is bad luck to remove the ashes from your house.

Eat plenty of collard greens to have money in the New Year. Collards were the only “green” food around this time of year 100 plus years ago. Traditionally they were eaten by poor whites and blacks but worked their way into mainstream back in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Eat pork for prosperity in the coming year. We used to eat hog jowls when I was a child but it is darn near impossible to find them anymore. A ruling was made decades ago by my mother that we could substitute any pork and so we do. Usually ham or pork chops.  

Eat black eye peas for good luck. Heck we eat them most any time. This pea has its roots from Africa.  

And finally we eat sweet potatoes mainly because they go so good with the above.

So remember, you can be assured of what I am eating every New Years supper for years to come. 

This is how collards come from the grocery store tied with a rubber band.

Collards that have been stalked or veins removed from the leaves.

Collards ready to steam and cook. 


Ken said...

I'm so afraid now.........I saw my wife emptying the ashes from the fireplace.
You got any quick fixes we can do, to stop the bad luck?

Happy New Year you guys!

Reggie Hunnicutt said...

Oh're not a real southerner from that accent so you guys are okay.

terri said...

Well dang! I should have read this sooner. I've already done tons of wash. Luckily the only fireplace here is a gas fireplace, so no worries about ashes. However, I have never eaten collard greens or black eyed peas. Can you even get those in the north?

Anonymous said...

Wish I read these in the early morning before the dog beds went into the washing machine. Laundry is an 8 day X 2 event here.

I like everything about this list- big time for the collards and how to prepare them.
Seems a tradition you wouldn't want to poke at.

Happy New Year to you and Gigi.

Chris said...

Collards are the ONLY thing I basically missed out on.

Can you sub country ham for the pork requirement?

Jay said...

We had the same thing for dinner. Well, except we went with spinach instead of collard greens. Any green leafy vegetable will be okay. ;-)

MELackey said...

we had cabbage, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and chicken-fried steak. We did have lots of bacon and smoked sausage in the peas and cabbage to help season them, so we did get our pork. Normally we have pork chops.

Oh, and don't forget the cornvread. Same reason as the sweet potatoes - it just goes so well with the rest of the meal.

Peach cobbler for dessert - home made of course...

Anonymous said...

Well, I messed up on the "no washing" rule, and did 5 loads of laundry on New Year's Day. You taught me last year about the black-eyed peas and the greens, so I did that. No danger at all about carrying out ashes. I forgot about the pork portion (or maybe it was in subconscious), as I made a pork roast for dinner. 4 out of 5 isn't bad.

Happy New Year!