So much for starting the new year off with resolutions about being neat and tidy. The last of the company left today and once I finished a good cry at seeing them go, I threw a load of towels into the washer and hit the couch. Dearly Beloved vacuumed the rugs and hit the other couch. We barely scratched the surface, but the rest of the cleaning will have to wait until another day. We’re pooped! We could have easily remained in supine position all day were it just any ol’ day. On New Year’s Day, however, any self-respecting Southerner has to eat collards and black eyed peas.
I cranked out so much food in the past two weeks that when DB released me from kitchen captivity he said I didn’t have to think “meals” any time soon. Sure, it sounded good, but what about the New Year’s Good Luck Meal? Not eating collards and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is like walking under a ladder after a black cat has walked in front of you as you spilled salt. Collards represent “folding money” and the black-eyed peas are “coins” for the New Year’s meal. The more one eats, the more you’ll have. The economy needs our help. We had to find collards and black-eyed peas.
Oddly enough, it isn’t that simple any longer. I don’t know if it’s an influx of restaurant owners from other parts of the country or a population whose mamas didn’t make them eat their veggies, but greens don’t often make the menu these days. Last year we went to two restaurants, looking for a New Year’s meal. We ended up coming home for me to cook. Hey, we’re retired; we couldn’t afford to tempt fate.
Not long ago I passed a produce stand with a sign out front advertising “COLLARED GREENS.” I laughed for ten minutes, picturing the little stalks handcuffed to the counter after having been arrested for causing a gas leak. They aren’t called a “mess of greens” for nothing.
DB said he thought he knew just the spot to collar some greens and we dragged ourselves up and out to the car.
” No need to dress up,” he told me. “It’s a casual place.”
The menu offered pulled pork, ribs, black-eyed peas, collards. As I ate, I watched two guys over in a corner, shooting at a machine. They were “hunting.”
We had indeed found a southern restaurant.
I’m already feeling lucky. The sign they had painted on the wall made me glad I’d worn boots. Suppose I’d shown up with flowers in my hair?