To kick off the new year right, make sure you serve these traditional, southern recipes for good luck and prosperity. It’s out with the old and in with the new and it all starts with this delicious menu!
New Year’s Day has always, always been one of my favorite days of the year. Growing up, my whole family, and there were a lot of us, gathered at my Grandmother’s house for lunch on the first day of the year. The incredible memory of walking through the back door smelling amazing aromas of incredible food that would soon be served up is something I will cherish forever.
There were and still are the three center-stage foods of the day. Pork, collard greens, and black-eyed peas. These three simple things were always, had to be on everyone’s plates. There were NO excuses and my Grandmother and Aunts didn’t care if you liked them or not. You were taking a bite. Of. Each. One.
All these years later, I still keep those special memories alive. It’s a tradition. So, I do it. I have changed up a few of the recipes to a bit more modern versions for my family. Now, as New Year’s Day rolls around, my boys are asking, “so, are we doing the New Year’s meal thing?” The answer is a resounding YES. And this year more than ever, we are going all in and doing it right!
The Meanings Behind The Tradition
There are always 3 classic recipes on every Southern New Year’s Day menu. They are pork, greens, and black-eyed peas. Some folks throw in a fourth – cornbread – but for me, it’s just the perfect things to go along with the other three. Here’s why we do what we do:
- Pork – we eat it for a very, very good reason. Pigs move, actually snort, forward not backward. I am all about moving forward in life, learning from the past but not living there. I’ve got several yummy options of pork recipes that I choose from that include Smoked Pulled Pork, Brown Sugar Mustard Ham, Easy Crock Pot Ham, and Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast.
- Greens – symbolize wealth. I prefer collard greens but any type of leafy healthy greens that are cooked will do. I like to serve them with a dash or two of hot sauce and a sprinkle of apple cider vinegar. If you are not into cooked greens, you could enjoy a spinach salad or even hot spinach dip and you’d still fall under the “southern tradition” rules.
- Black Eyed Peas – are for luck and good fortune. In my family, we’ve always said they represent the “coins” we’d have in the new year so, my advice is to eat up!