Lucky Foods for the New Year

Fume Fume – Altered Consciousness. – Change in life cycle. – Chapter Ten

We all will, sooner or later, find ourselves having to make the hardest decisions of our life. Dani found it hard to make the decisions she had to make, in Chapter Ten, “To Dance with Ugly People,” but her altered consciousness pushed her into the direction of making a change in her life. Dani wanted to forget the past and make a clean start.

My Friend and Fellow Author with Lock Publishing, Jenny Dunbar posted a Recipe and it gave me an idea. I want to offer you the chance to push in the direction of making a change to your menu for, January 1 2016. Join in the tradition of eating lucky foods on the first day of the New Year 2016.

But instead of leaving everything up to fate, why not enjoy a meal to increase your good fortune? There are a variety of foods that are believed to be lucky and to improve the odds that next year will be a great one. Traditions vary from culture to culture, but there are striking similarities in what’s on the table. I grew up eating:

Collard Greens
Their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune.
Pork
The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress.
Black-Eyed Peas
Peas are also symbolic of money. Their small, seed like appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind.

Round Pan of Corn Bread
Round is the shape you want for the new year.

Recipes:
Southern-Style Collard Greens
12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
3/4 pound smoked ham, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth
3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
Preparation
1. Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and saute 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and saute 1 minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.

Fresh Black-Eyed Peas With Bacon
1 1/2 pounds fresh black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained
8 to 12 ounces bacon, diced
Leftover diced ham and/or a ham bone or ham hocks, if ya got it
2 bay leaves
Additional water or chicken broth or stock, if needed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red and green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preparation
In a tall stockpot cook the bacon until done but not crisp; add the onion, bell pepper, to the rendered bacon fat and cook just until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. If you have some leftover ham, add it here also and cook it until browned. Toss the peas in the pot and sort of stir fry them with the veggies for a bit. Then slowly begin adding the hot water, stirring in as you do, and bring it up to a full boil.

If you’re lucky enough to have a ham bone, stick it in there after you add the water but before you add the peas, reduce heat to medium and allow the ham bone to cook by itself for about an hour to deepen the stock. Once that cooks (or if you don’t happen to have a ham bone) go ahead and just add the dried peas, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Then bring it all to a boil.

Reduce to a medium simmer and partially cover, cooking for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender and creamy. Add additional chicken stock or water only if necessary to slightly thin out.

Moist Southern Cornbread
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cornmeal, sifted before measuring
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups whole milk, divided
Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.
Put the butter in a 9-inch round cast iron skillet and heat in the oven or on the stove top until the pan is hot and the butter is melted but not browned.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and and 1 cup of the whole milk. Stir into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Pour the batter into the hot pan. Carefully pour the remaining 1 cup whole milk evenly over the top of the batter; do not stir. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until cornbread is set and baked through.

Instead of leaving everything up to fate, Dani made a move, was it the right one? Get your copy and find out today!

– Lorene Stunson Hill –

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