Saturday, January 1, 2011

Whirrled Peas

Happy New Years!
For years I never really understood why we had to eat all that we had to eat on New Years Day. I knew the different foods stood for things like luck, peace, money, etc., but how in the world did this tradition get started?  Thanks to Google, it is rumored that it dates back to the Civil War when those mean ol' Yankees marched through the South burning everything. They saw fields of black eyed peas and collard greens and assumed they were for the livestock to eat. Since that was the only thing left for Southerners to eat, they were deemed lucky. I always like having a good reason to stuff my face.

This year our New Year's meal included:
Peas-I've always heard eat them for peace, but have also heard for prosperity, good luck, or for more "coins".
Greens-for money, "greenback" or wealth.
Cornbread-good fortune, also have heard for "gold" or "circle of life?"
Hog Jowl-I've always thought it was for joy, but have recently heard to eat it for health. Health, really? Of all the foods to choose from to eat for health, it's hog jowl? haha!
Sweet Potatoes-for being sweet. Nah, I made that one up. I just had some sweet potatoes that I wanted to cook.  But, maybe I could start a new tradition.

So, what did y'all eat on New Years? You are what you eat!


  1. We had red beans and ham hocks. What's a jowl?

  2. It's a hog's cheek. I'm guessing the name probably came from hog "jaw" or something. You know how us southerners pronounce things, lol.

  3. You are the third Southern blogger I read who had peas on New Years -- love learning this regional stuff. So interesting! :)

  4. traditional alabama lunch/supper : Black-eye peas - bbq pork - potato salad - sweet potato cassarole - mac and cheese - turnip greens - banana nut bread - sweet tea.

  5. In Ohio we eat pork and sauerkraut. I guess it brings good luck and good fortune. BUT it has to be the first meal you eat. So at midnight its pork and sauerkraut for everyone! Ohio has a huge number of people with German heritage, and everyone I know has some German in them. And they all eat pork ans sauerkraut!

  6. We eat sauerkraut. I don't know why but hubby would have a meltdown if we didn't. Personally, I think it's like eating a frog for breakfast...your day, or in this case year, can only get better from there!!

  7. I've been meaning to tell you (but I can't find an email link!) that my sister lives up north of y'all. They were trying to get involved with FB young farmers, but I don't know if they'd be in your district or not. They got LOTS of snow too!