Happy New Years!
Email Print
Special to the Cannon Courier
New Years always called for hogs jowl, black eye peas, turnip greens, hominy and corn bread for as long as I can remember. I always thought it was for, Health, Wealth, Happiness and Luck.
When I first got married these would always be part of my New Years meal and I normally would do the cooking. As best than I can remember I only missed this two times in my 67 years, 1970 when I was in Vietnam and the other time when my family attended the Rose Bowl Parade.

In 1971 through 1976, I started inviting friends, ones stationed in Germany with me and lived in the barracks and had no families around. After retiring from the military service I had close friends and family to come to our home for their New Years meal. In the early 2000's I started looking up how other parts of the world celebrated the New Year with food. I found many different recipes and customs for bringing in the new year. Word of mouth invitations to friends, neighbors and family and I stay up all night cooking to prepare the food.
This year my mother, Mary Hirlston, my sister, Dora Pope, her son Brandon, my wife Patsy's mother Dorothy Miller, Patsy's sister Katrinka and her husband Earl Sutton, our friends and neighbors: GL and Jerry Ann Tenpenny, Jerry and Faye Barrett, Evelyn Jones, Clark Hollis and his son Casey dropped by to help us celebrate the coming year.
Each year the menu stays about the same with a possibly slight year. The following was this years menu with why the custom and countries which celebrate the food:
New Years Day Menu 2016 (at the Hirlston's)
Hoppin' John with Cornbread: Contains pork for wealth, black eye peas for coins &/or luck, collard greens for cash, tomatoes for health, rice for prosperity, hominy for becoming full circle and the cornbread for gold. Countries using pork for wealth: Germany, northern United States. Countries known for eating Hoppin' John or something similar for luck: Africa, France, Southern United States, and Brazil (has a Lentil Soup similar to Hoppin' John). Italy, and Jewish customs also uses lentils (black eye peas) for coins, for wealth and luck.
Hogs Jowl: Eat poor on New Year's, eat fat the rest of the year. Hogs Jowl is considered the cheapest part of a pig, the cheapest meat. Black eye peas and collard greens the cheapest vegetables to buy. Others say eating fat of the New Year will have you eating fat for the year. Pork in many countries is for wealth for the coming year. Countries using hogs jowl, Southern United States. Countries eating pork: Germany, France, Norway, Holland and the United States.
Cabbage with Pork: Green Leafy vegetable mostly used as paper money, for wealth, prosperity and also for health for the coming year. Germany, United States, Sweden.
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa: Pork sausage is a symbol of abundance because they are rich in fat and cabbage for wealth and prosperity. Germany and Northern United States.
Noodles: Long noodles that should be sucked up and eaten without breaking them to ensure long life. Most Asian countries will eat some form of noodles on their New Year. In Italy Lasagna is the custom and eating any other type noodle is concerned bad luck.
Meatballs: Pork and round shape is symbol for becoming a full-circle completing year's cycle from new to finished with prosperity.
Grapes: Normally eaten at Midnight when the clock strikes, 1 grape at each strike of the clock for luck for each month of the upcoming year. Spain, Portugal, Peru and Cuba this is a custom. Spain then eats one additional grape for the past year.
Apples wedges and honey: This is a Jewish custom; the honey is a symbol of sweetness of life.
Vasilopita: A special cake with a coin hidden inside. Whoever gets the coin will have luck and prosperity for the coming year. Greek custom. Coin hidden in bread (cornbread) or in other foods has been adopted in other customs.
Rice Pudding: Rice is another food that if eaten on the New Year, there will always be food for the rest of the year. This is a custom in most Asian countries. Most will eat a bowl of rice, or a rice cake, or the rice pudding. In Norway an almond is hidden in the pudding and whoever gets the almond will have luck for the year.
Olie Bollen: The round shape is a symbol for becoming a full-circle completing a year's cycle, from a new to finish and for prosperity for the coming year. Celebrated in Holland. Name means "oily ball" and looks and taste close to a doughnut hole.
Sparkling Grape Juice or Champagne is the universal New Year Good Luck Charm, used for toasting in the New Year. We substitute Champagne for Sparkling Grape Juice for our own beliefs and not to infringe on others but we ask each to make a toast.

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: