Just a few more days left of 2007, and you’re likely wondering just how you will ring in the new year.  Sleep is always a good way, you tell yourself.  You’re absolutely right, sleep is highly restorative.  By the end of the holidays we all need a little extra.  But hold on,  the holidays aren’t over ’til the 2nd.  We’ve got nearly a week to go! So let’s rally for the another round of partying!

My preparations so far have focused on reading other people’s blogs about New Year’s traditions.  I’ve been searching for foods that Wisconsinites favor on this holiday. Well, either my state is pretty disorganized regarding its New Year’s traditions, or I haven’t found the right website.  So, I asked around the office about my co-workers’ New Year’s traditions.  Their vague replies and shrugs tell me we’re pretty disorganized.

I did find some helpful websites, particularly foodtimeline.org.  I think its info must be fairly good because I found the same info cut, pasted, and recycled on several other sites. Which site originated it, I haven’t a clue.  Remember, on the web, information becomes more true with each additional website it appears on.  So rest assured, you can trust as undisputed fact that the following foods, if eaten on New Year’s Day, will bring you good fortune for the whole year.

Here’s what I learned on the web.  New Year’s Day consumption of pig, whether it be pork or ham, brings luck because pigs move forward when they root around with their noses.  (Makes sense, right?)  What ever your do, don’t eat fowl because they scratch backward in the dirt. But chicken’s OK if you live in New Orleans.  I don’t know why, maybe chickens scratch forward there.  If you live in the Northwest, you’re lucky if you’re eating salmon.  The rest of us are lucky to get creamed or pickled herring.

Cabbages and greens, such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, and collards bring prosperity because they resemble paper money.  But don’t try to pass these at the store. The cabbage can be in the form of sauerkraut if you’re German or from New England.  Eating round or ringed foods is highly important as these represent completion of the former year.  We’ve gone full circle, so to eat.  So go ahead, eat lots of doughnuts and bundt cakes.  Because black-eyed peas are round if you squint at them from a certain angle, they are believed to be exceptionally lucky New Year’s fare. Enjoy the peas with cornbread. I guess corn is round if you squint at it from the other angle.

Needing all the luck I can get, and too impatient to wait until Tuesday, today I prepared the luckiest meal I could imagine.  Here’s what I fixed: baked ham glazed with sweet, hot mustard; steamed rainbow swiss chard; spicy black-eyed pea salad, and corn bread.   Looks good, smells good, steeped in tradition, but well, it looks rather Southern, don’t you think?  I mean we Wisconsinites are stepping out of our culinary habits, however, black-eyed peas, greens, and corn bread on a mid-winter Wisconsin table?  We have three feet of snow outside, more is falling, and my table looks like New Year’s in Georgia.

I know just what to do; I’m adding sauerkraut, herring, and powdered-sugar doughnut holes.  Sauerkraut screams ‘Wisconsin’.  I don’t think I left out any lucky foods, but there’s still something missing…What to do?

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