Jowling about the New Year’s Meal

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?


7 thoughts on “Jowling about the New Year’s Meal

  1. Birdie

    For years we mixed HIS southern traditions of New Year’s and my German heritage of sauerkraut and pork ribs cooked until the house was thoroughly scented. One year, HE got a touch of salmonella from a frozen dairy treat eaten hours before the traditional meal. Thus ended the eating of traditional meals, forever after associated with unappetizing results. Leftover turkey soup, anyone?

  2. Our local Episcopal church is sponsoring a “Get Lucky” buffet today for the community. (I had to laugh at the unintended, I hope, double entendre!) On the menu will be lucky foods from around the world: ham with ginger glaze, collard greens with “pot likker”, Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas and rice), Ruby Red grapefruit coleslaw, cold soba noodles with sesame seeds, cornbread, St. Basil’s Cake with whipped cream, and iced tea. Sound good?

    Happy New Year—glad you’re back to bloggin’ 🙂

    1. Oh gosh, the smell of sauerkraut and collards cooking in the same house sounds more deadly than mixing Clorox and ammonia.

      TTPT, I had to look up St. Basil’s Cake recipe to see what it was. FOUR sticks of butter in the cake and whipped cream on top of it! The church must be wanting to sell some cemetery plots!

  3. I love that saying on the wall. That is truly “southern.” Wouldn’t mind a wall plaque like that.
    Glad you finally got your lucky dinner.
    Now rest up and enjoy 2010.

  4. My Dad always had black-eyed peas with his corned beef and cabbage on New Years Day. We all had to choke down one bite of peas. Can’t make myself do the black eyed peas. Our spin on the Lucky Meal is Reubens.

  5. I detest black-eyed peas if they’re the dried kind. I like fresh ones though and the frozen are pretty good. Dried black-eyed peas taste like the dirt they’re grown in.

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