Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

A little luck on your plate


What are you serving this first day of 2015? Prime Rib? Turkey? Or maybe tailgate food for all the games.

How about trying some foods that may or may not bring prosperity, luck, and all the good things we strive for in our lives.

Supposedly, greens are eaten to start the New Year because they resemble money. And all of us would like a little extra green in our life. The belief goes, the more greens you eat, the more dollars you will have (and the healthier you will be).

Maybe you like your money to jingle in your pocket. Beans are consumed this first day of the New Year as a symbol of coins. The fiber-filled little orbs also soak up all that alcohol in our systems. Some people believe in eating one pea every day of the year to keep the coins coming.

Noodles mean a long life. During the cooking process, you need to keep them unbroken or bad luck will come upon you. Stir fry noodles is a good way to prevent breakage, bad luck and they switch up the taste and texture of noodles. Forget the manners today and slurp your noodles for even more good luck.

On New Year’s Eve, Mexicans eat a grape for every stroke of midnight and each grape represents a month in the New Year. If one is bitter, watch out for that month in the coming year.

Pigs are a lucky symbol because they root forward, never moving backward and are usually very plump. In the South, a dish called Hoppin’ John combines pork, beans and greens for New Year’s Eve. The day after New Year’s, the leftover Hoppin’ John becomes Skippin’ Jenny meant to demonstrate frugality and promote prosperity.

If pork isn’t your thing (however, who doesn’t like bacon?), food shaped like pigs will work for a little luck as well. Cut-out cookies decorated pink with little sugar confetti for hats would be the talk of the party. Everyone would wonder, why pigs? Great conversation starter.

Maybe your party needs a more traditional and tasteful sweet treat. Ring shaped cakes, occasionally with trinkets baked inside for guests to find, symbolize coming full circle. If you have ever read my recipes before, you know I like to indulge in a little chocolate more than occasionally. And New Year’s gives that indulgence time in the limelight. Molten Cakes are a warm treat for a cold winter night when a party is happening, or any time for that matter. They can be very simple, a little cake mix, a glass mug, milk, egg and a microwave, or you can go to the extreme of crème Brule cups with raspberries and cream. Either way, the trick is to only cook them for six to seven minutes and serve them immediately.

Skipping over to the salt of the sea, fish are considered lucky food for the New Year since their scales resemble coins and they swim in schools which give us the idea of abundance. And chocolate or coin, abundance is good. The Chinese word for fish sounds similar to the word for abundance, so fish is the go-to food in China for good luck. Maybe that is why they eat so much of it and seem to do very well.

Served alongside the fish, cornbread represents gold. Add a few whole kernels of corn for extra luck of golden nuggets for your guests.

So, what is on your menu today? No matter what color, significance or story behind it, may it take away your hunger in a tasteful and nutritious way. Happy New Year, everyone.


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