New Year’s Day Menu

Gentle Readers, right now, The Practical Cook should be cleaning. There are dishes to be washed, floors to be mopped, laundry to be done. However, that will have to wait. Tomorrow is going to show up regardless, and you’ll note there was no resolution at all regarding housecleaning. And I’m distracted by an idea I haven’t had the chance to work through just yet, a black-eyed pea croquette. Why do I have peas on the brain?

My New Year's Meal last year, before I started taking pictures of my dinner regularly. Forgive me.

My New Year's Meal last year, before I started taking pictures of my dinner regularly. Forgive me.

Like many a Southerner, I was wheeling a cart full of collards and black eyed peas around the grocery store today. For as long as I can remember, on New Year’s Day, I’ve eaten black eyed peas, collard greens (or greens of some ilk), and pork. Lots of people go with Hoppin’ John as a way to knock most of that out at once, I’ve done every possible combo, except fried.

Unfortunately, I won’t have the recipe for Deep-Fried Hoppin’ John perfected in time to share it before the new year this year. Thanks for your patience. While you wait, here is my menu:

Black-Eyed Peas, made from Bill Smith’s recipe in Seasoned in the South.

Black-Eyed Peas in the RInse Cycle

Black-Eyed Peas in the Rinse Cycle

Collards for Haters, recipe courtesy of Jet magazine by way of a colleague. (I’ve adapted it some, the secret is smoked turkey wings. Will blog about it next week after I make it!)

It is a joke to try to stuff collards into little grocery store bags. No one puts collards in the corner.

It is a joke to try to stuff collards into little grocery store bags. No one puts collards in the corner.

Pork, sometimes ribs, sometimes pork chops, sometimes ham. This year it will be sausage.

Sausage, greens, and pierogie

Sausage, greens, and pierogie

Cornbread, because it’s cornbread.

Cornbread is the Southern staff of life.

Cornbread is the Southern staff of life.

For those not familiar with the traditions, each item stands for prosperity in the new year. I’m always getting them confused, but I think (or at least was raised to believe, yeah, I’m tossing this one back to The Practical Cook’s Mom) the peas symbolize money (like coins, but I’ve also heard luck for them), the collards luck (I’ve heard money for greens, too, like green), and the pork health. Cornbread is again just because I like to make and eat cornbread and it goes with everything. I really like the part where pork = health.

What are your culinary traditions around New Year’s? Send a picture, post a comment, Tweet! Look forward to hearing from you, because I feel certain several Gentle Readers have resolved to comment in 2o12.

What would you like to see covered in the blog in 2012? Email questions and requests to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, the first Weekly Menus of 2012!



Filed under Fried, Kitchen Philosophy

8 responses to “New Year’s Day Menu

  1. I’ve been in NC 15 years but I still don’t consider myself a southerner; however, I do participate in the New Year’s Day rituals as often as I can, and this year I’m fortunate to have been invited to TWO gatherings where I am sure to get my share of luck and health to start 2012 off right. And hey, I love the part where pork = health too! My resolution for 2012: MORE BACON. Corresponding resolution: MORE WORKOUTS.

    • The Practical Cook

      I’m going to order bacon salt. Can you work off high blood pressure? Please take pictures of your dueling celebrations, I must know what’s being served!!

      Happy New Year!

  2. Maria

    A dear friend has a pig pickin’ every New Year’s Day. He provides the pig and the guests bring the sides. My husband makes the following Hoppin’ John recipe which combines the black-eyed peas and collards into one dish (how practical!). You can spice it up with hot sauce to taste. Happy New Year everyone.,232,157183-238202,00.html

    • The Practical Cook

      What a great idea to bring the sides. Thanks for sharing your go-to recipe, I do love a practical dish. 🙂

      Happy New Year!

  3. Kelsey

    It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I realized that the NYD meal I had every year, with the execption of 3 or 4 times, was not a nationwide tradition. Ours is the same, but we throw in mashed potatoes, too. I think it is to appease the littles. However, they are much better at eating their meal than I ever was. (holding nose, taking a bite of greens, swallowing with a gulp of milk).

    • The Practical Cook

      I’m proud to say the juniors eat the meal every year, the Eldest with more gusto, the youngest gunning for the starch and the pork. It’s a great tradition, nose holding and all. 🙂

      I do cheat and refer to things as health, luck, and wealth, which seems to encourage consumption at some level.

  4. when i saw, as the old year was waning, that my supper club’s new year’s dinner offerings were going to leave out certain essential culinary traditions, i decided to fill the gap. since the mains and sides were taken care of by others, i was left with an appetizer. so i whipped up a nice black-eyed pea hummus, piped it onto a bite-size pita round upon which rested a bit of collards, and topped it with a thick-sliced bacon square that had been tossed, sizzling, with parsely and ground black pepper. (if i’d had the time, i would have served it on a little bed of cornbread — maybe next year..)

    anyway, though i was raised in new jersey by hungarian immigrant parents: happy new year, ya’ll!

    • The Practical Cook

      Holy smokes, please tell me you took pictures!! That sounds like a dream of a Southern Canape, perhaps we can grant you honorary Southerner status. 🙂

      I may have to give this a try as well. I’ve got a recipe for Texas caviar in development, so let 2012 be the year of the black-eyed pea! Happy New Year!

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