Friday, December 23, 2011

Lucky You?

I’m obviously not going to take a lesson from my own book of mistakes. I should have been talking about New Year’s weeks ago. But, like my Hanukkah doughnuts times a running out. Not that I have anything really I can share with you…New Years Eve and Day are more culinary holidays, which of course always require great bread and dessert, but I thought we could give the retail push a rest for a minute (just one) and talk about the how to start your New Year’s off right! 

There are all sorts of stories of lucky food you can eat and while luck may not be your thing, I say, it can’t hurt! My brother-in-law’s family are Pennsylvania Dutch and bring the New Year in with Pork and Sauerkraut. Before I tried it, I thought it sounded awful, but when I was home one year for the holidays, I had my first taste and I loved it! I now make it on New Year’s Day if I’m not with them. The first year I had it I met my current boyfriend, and hopefully I will say in the near future, the first year I tried it I met my future husband. That’s a lucky year, I mean, a really lucky year if you ask me! Anyway, the PA Dutch think this is lucky because pigs are forward thinkers; all their hooves face forward and they root forward. And the long strands of sauerkraut represent long life. Speaking of long strands, many Asian families eat noodles on New Year’s Day, with a catch. You can’t break the noodle on the way into your mouth! The long noodles represents long life. The southerners like black eyed peas and collard greens. The peas are good luck and the leafy greens are green like money, so they represent good fortune, as does the cabbage many German’s and Irish consume. Lentils is another popular good luck/good fortune food. The lentils look like little coins representing fortune. Fish, like the pig, move forward, so they are considered luck going forward in the New Year and some view fish as representing abundance since fish swim in schools. Pomegranates have long been linked to abundance and fertility and a common New Years delight, and at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Spanish eat 12 grapes. You have to eat all 12 before all 12 chimes of the clock ring for extra luck and prosperity. They correlate to the months of the year. If you eat a sour grape as your third grape, it is believed your third month, March, may not be so sweet. I’d say stick to the red table grapes from the store and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, just in case. 

 If you want to read more about the lucky foods, and where these pictures came from, check this out and this too.

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