A Traditional Southern New Year’s Meal
Living in the South, there are many New Year’s traditions I had never heard of, since I grew up in the Midwest. I remember my first New Year’s with my in-laws, and being amused by the things you had to have on New Year’s or the next year wouldn’t go well. I was amused simply because I had never heard of this and I am not a superstitious person. I didn’t realize at the time that this was a “thing” here in the South.
So traditionally here in the southern United States, you have certain things you are supposed to eat every New Year’s Day, but there’s also a couple things you aren’t supposed to eat…because they bring bad luck. You don’t want to curse the new year before it has even started.
What Southerners Eat for New Year’s Day
So according to tradition (superstition) you are supposed to eat a few things every New Year’s Day to bring about good luck and fortune for the year to come.
Peas or Beans
Greens aren’t too hard to figure out. They represent money, specifically “folding money” or dollar bills. For this, things like turnip greens, collards, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, or some other sort of “greens” are served.
So the story behind pork, is that because a pig “roots forward,” it means that going forward into the year will be fortunate. But you should never eat chicken on New Year’s because a chicken scratches backwards. You also aren’t supposed to eat lobster, since it swims backwards. (Does that include shrimp or crawfish?) That’s bad luck.
Cornbread is the gold! Not only that, but you can’t hardly eat peas, beans or greens without cornbread. It just not done.
This hearty soup is full of rich flavor from bacon and pork sausage. It is a thick, stick-to-your-ribs soup.
This rich and tangy soup is filled with good veggies, including cabbage, leeks and more. The added bacon is a bonus for this slow cooker recipe.
This chunky soup is another great one to combine both the peas and the pork in one dish.
Seasoned with bacon and Andouille sausage, you will love the flavor packed into these beans!
If you’re looking for some Black-eyed Peas, I can’t help you there, but check out my friend Brandi’s recipe.
One of my favorite ways to serve “greens” is this Brussels sprouts recipe.
My cornbread is the perfect cornbread if you ask me. It is moist and has just a touch of sweet.
Don’t Forget Dessert!
You can’t have a holiday meal and skip dessert. Here’s some of my favorite old-fashioned desserts to serve on New Year’s…or any occasion for that matter.