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The 2017 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Lucky Foods For The New Year

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Lucky Foods For The New Year

“Eat poor on New Year’s and eat fat the rest of the year.” So goes the popular saying in the southern United States.

On January 1, millions will be serving up the traditional New Year’s menu of black-eyed peas, ham, greens, and cornbread. It is believed eating these foods on New Year’s Day will bring good luck and prosperity for the remainder of the year. Greens represent the green of money, black-eyed peas symbolize coins, cornbread stands for gold, and ham simply flavors the mix. Try these recipes for your New Year’s Day celebration!

Hoppin’ John (pictured)
1 cup dry black-eyed peas
4 thick slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 dash each of cayenne & black pepper
3 cups cooked rice

Wash peas, then cover with 5 cups water. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak overnight. Rinse and drain thoroughly. Cook bacon in heavy pan until browned. Add onion and green pepper. Sauté until onion is tender. Add beans, 2 cups water, and seasonings. Cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove bay leaf; stir in rice. Continue simmering about 10 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Serves 4 to 6.

Collard Greens with Ham Hocks
1 pound fresh collard greens
4 smoked ham hocks
Crushed red pepper
Hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Cut and wash collard greens. Place in large pot with ham hocks and crushed red pepper. Add enough water to cover. Simmer over medium heat approximately two hours until greens are tender. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Serves 4.

Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil

Stir flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, and oil. Add to flour mixture and stir until smooth. (Do not overbeat.) Pour into greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serves 8.

Maple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

1 fully cooked ham, about 6 to 8 pounds
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 heaping tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard
Dash cinnamon and ginger or allspice

Place ham, fat side up, on rack in foil-lined roasting pan; score fat and stud with cloves, if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 18 minutes per pound, until meat thermometer reads 148 degrees. Combine glaze ingredients in saucepan; boil approximately 2 minutes. Twenty minutes before ham is done baking, spoon about half the glaze over top of ham, then about 10 minutes before done, spread remaining glaze over ham. Serves 8 to 10.

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41 comments

1 florence { 12.31.16 at 4:21 am }

we have oyster stew on new years eve and on new years day turnip greens with hog jowl and black eye peas with hog jowl corn bread with no sugar in the corn bread and ham for meat and one more thing i dont wash clothes on new years day or you will wash a family member out of the family {by death|

2 Catherine { 12.29.16 at 10:13 pm }

Here in the NW we have Dugeonus Crab *depending upon price*, potatoe salad *mustard/dill based, and Baked Beans~YUMMY! my Husband is from the South he likes Greens with Ham, Blackeyed peas, and cornbread, we have had it for the last few years and now it’s MY Turn! Happy New Year Everyone!

3 Doreen { 12.29.16 at 7:37 pm }

Don’t know about the Ham and Black-eyed peas thing but in Hawaii everyone has Sashimi, some kind of Noodles (for long life) and Japanese Mochi. And at all Hawaii New Years gatherings we have an array of dishes prepared in all nationalities…, Filipino Lumpia, Japanese Sushi, Hawaiian Beef or Tripe Stew, Hawaiian Laulau, Poi, Korean style Korean Kalbi and Kimchee, and so much more!

4 Kath { 12.29.16 at 6:02 pm }

I can remember from childhood my mother cooking her traditional New Years Day dinner. It consisted of corned beef cooked with potatoes and cabbage. She always had a big pot of blackeyed peas, and of course cornbread. Mom always had a made from scratch german chocolate cake for desert. Would love to have one more News Years day like that with her

5 Pam Holbrook { 01.12.16 at 10:22 pm }

New Year’s recipes!

6 Susan Higgins { 01.04.16 at 9:38 am }

Hi es, we’re sorry for your losses.

7 es { 01.03.16 at 8:46 am }

I have always had sauerkraut and pork of some kind for New Years, then I make dumplings in that and serve mashed taters as a side. I had it last New Years as usual but had the worst yr ever, bar none. My oldest son passed away Apr at the age of 53 , then in Dec my only daughter passed away at the tender age of 47. 5 yrs ago, my youngest son passed away at the tender age of 47 also. No more ‘lucky’ meals for me. They dont work.

8 Debra { 12.31.15 at 5:47 pm }

We always eat black-eyed peas, cornbread, ham, and cabbage casserole on New Years day. I have not found it to be bad luck so l guess it might be good luck.

9 Jessica { 12.31.15 at 1:52 am }

In Pennsylvania it’s a good pork roast cooked with kraut seasoned in molasses or brown sugar over mashed potatoes. Every year pork roasts are sold out of the stores by Dec 30th.

10 Tina { 12.30.15 at 7:47 pm }

For all of you that follow this tradition, does it work?

11 Tina { 12.30.15 at 7:46 pm }

I’ve never done this, solo do you all have health and wealth, luck and prosperity?

12 Tina A. Olvera { 12.30.15 at 6:31 pm }

We always ate the ham, black eyed peas, coleslaw and cornbread. We ate the pork to help our lives move forward because pigs route forwards never backwards.😊

13 Stacy { 12.30.15 at 6:18 pm }

Black eyed peas
Hog jowl
Collard greens/ cabbage
Cornbread
Sweet tea

Arkansas tradition!

14 Cathy Johnson { 12.30.15 at 5:56 pm }

My mom used to fix pork chops and sauerkraut every New Year. Since I moved to the South I fix blackeye peas, ham, and cornbread, with spinach or cabbage on the side.

15 Paulette { 12.30.15 at 5:39 pm }

Pork of some sort, (i.e. ham, pork ribs, pork roast…), collards or cabbage, rice, and black eyed peas. Tea and cornbread optional. Health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity.

16 Susan P { 12.30.15 at 5:37 pm }

Not from the South, but I like to do hammocks and beans in a tomato-based sauce, with rice. Start cooking really early in the day and have it ready for dinner. Maybe I’ll add a few collard greens for good measure.

17 Leah { 12.30.15 at 5:19 pm }

A Texas tradition at my house: black-eyed peas for health, cabbage for wealth, ham, cornbread and iced tea…..yummmm!

18 Joyce { 12.30.15 at 4:13 pm }

Here in South Louisiana we always have Cabbage (smothered) , Blackeye Peas w/ Rice, Potato Salad and Pork Roast on New Years day.

19 Lynnette { 12.30.15 at 3:19 pm }

Every New Year I make Shrimp Tortellini Alfredo here. We have a few walnuts and cherries for luck.

20 Pam { 12.30.15 at 2:02 pm }

My family always has ribs and kraut with boiled or mashed potatoes on New Years Day

21 Nick { 12.30.15 at 1:29 pm }

And here in Southern California, you can’t ignore tamales. Kill two birds with one stone, and make pork tamales… Can’t say I’ve heard of black-eyed pea burritos, though…

22 Jackie { 12.30.15 at 11:25 am }

I have learned to cook pork, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes along with black-eyed peas, collards for my kids families. Northern and southern

23 Rhea { 12.30.15 at 11:14 am }

Rose, skipping Jenny is leftover hopping John. More luck, because of your extra frugal efforts.

24 pauline { 12.30.15 at 10:35 am }

You forgot something very important. Give the leftovers to the hostess. This is a thank you gift to the hostess for her hard work. If she doesn’t want it then it’s fine to take the leftovers home or preferably share some with the other guests. Grabbing your dish as if you are desperate to take it home may result in your not being invited there again.At least it does in this house.

25 Chrissy { 12.30.15 at 10:27 am }

In the north, we also believe that lentils bring luck too. So we’re serving lentils with our pork roast.

26 Margie { 12.30.15 at 9:53 am }

Hoppin’ John always on New Year’s Day in my family. But I cook the black eyed peas with ham hocks, and rice separate. Mix the two in a bowl to eat.

27 Debbie { 12.30.15 at 9:51 am }

Always had cabbage rolls (stuffed cabbage) on NY day with one silver quarter hidden inside one if them, it brought you luck if you got the one with the quarter in it. Mashed potatoes and big lima beans…

28 Lorna Schalasky { 12.30.15 at 9:23 am }

We always included Herring for good luck.

29 Sweettea { 12.30.15 at 9:01 am }

Collards at this house for folding money, black eye peas for coins

30 Mary { 12.30.15 at 8:53 am }

My mother always said…”never eat anything that walks backwards” on New Years…so pork it is

31 Rose { 12.30.15 at 8:40 am }

What is skippin Jenny?

32 Suzanne Accashian { 12.30.15 at 8:26 am }

My grandmother who lived to be 101 years old 1909-2010 always prepared chicken on New Years Eve to scratch back the old year and Pork on New Years Day to root forward in the new. I carry on the same tradition.

33 Emma { 12.30.15 at 8:14 am }

Hoppin John on New Years and Skippin Jenny the next day.

34 Jeanne { 12.30.15 at 8:04 am }

It didn’t matter how it was cooked, but we had to have pork. No chicken or other poultry. Root ahead not scratch behind

35 Pat Lendennie { 12.30.15 at 7:34 am }

In Irish families like mine the lucky food is corned beef and cabbage, also served with cornbread.

36 MARSHA { 12.30.15 at 7:31 am }

Jewel, I too am from Oklahoma and you are correct. And thats the best eats ever. YUMMY

37 jewel { 12.30.15 at 6:56 am }

New Years in Oklahoma we have Blackeyed peas with left over christmas ham fried potatoes fried cabbage and cornbread!

38 Charlene { 12.30.15 at 6:54 am }

My family always had to eat certain foods on New Year’s Day:
Black-eyed peas for luck
Ham for health
Cabbage for wealth
I don’t know if there’s any truth behind any of these, but they sure are good. I still cook them every year for New Year’s day.

39 Diane { 12.30.15 at 6:46 am }

It’s kielbasa, pork, hot dogs and sauerkraut w/ mashed potatoes in our house!!! Sauerkraut is good luck!!
But I’m going to have to try the “Hoppin’ John” recipe!!! Thanks

40 Joanne { 12.30.15 at 6:31 am }

Ham is for forward movement. When hogs root up the ground it’s always in a forward motion

41 Kate { 12.30.15 at 6:20 am }

All sound great, but it would not be New Years in my family without spareribs and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and rye rolls!

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