Deep Fried New Year

Y’all know I am from the south. Traditions are important here. Some consider them superstitions.  Let me say whatever you want to call them they run deep. It is New Year’s Eve and folks around here are busy busy busy.  Give me a few minutes to explain.

It is believed that how you welcome the new year will be your fortune.  Your activity can influence your year.  At midnight the door must be open for the old year to escape and the new year to be welcomed in.  While the door is open make loud noises (cheers, poppers, and horns) so that evil doesn’t want to come in.  Evil spirits do not like loud.  Washing clothes or dishes on New Year’s day can bring two things. One is hard work all year long. The second is death to a relative.  If you sweep the floor you are sweeping your good luck out of the door. Don’t break anything for this could led to destruction in your life. So, be careful. Maybe, even use paper products since you should wash your dishes. Try to remain happy because crying welcomes sadness for the year.  Make sure you have money in your wallet and your pantry or cupboard is stocked.  These two promote the promise of prosperity.

Our New Year’s meal is just as important as our activity.  A meal of luck. The hope of good fortune. While, most of these foods are common staples in the south. However, the meaning behind them on New Years makes them lucky foods. Collards, black-eyed peas, pork, and cornbread are required. The collards represent green money. They must be slow cook and with the pork.  The entire” mess” ( mess means bundle in the south) has to be eaten. If you throw any out your good luck may run out.  Black-eyed peas are noted as pennies that can be added to your wealth. Pigs are known to root forward. Pork respects wealth to come.  In generations past only the rich family had hogs.  Pork seasoning makes all these dishes yummy. The cornbread’s color represents gold. Ideally, include kernels of corn to represent gold nuggets to really help out you bank account.

It is midday on New Year’s Eve and I have been washing clothes, sweeping floors, prepping our meal for tomorrow.  I make a mix collards, kale, and mustard.  I am not a fan of collards, but I don’t want to shake tradition. We will have pork chops, bacon in our black-eyed peas and ham in the greens. I know what not to do or I will hear “Lord have mercy on her”.  I am blessed to have experienced and learned a good southern New Year’s meal. I look forward to seeing all that 2018 brings.  Happy New Year, Y’all!

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