For as long as I can remember, on New Year's Day, my mother has always cooked us black-eyed peas, turnips and cornbread. It's a Southern tradition. Apparently, each of the above foods symbolizes hopes for the new year. Black-eyed peas stand for good luck, good fortune and prosperity. Or, for my five-year-old brain to comprehend, my mother explained that they were for good luck and coins, you know; a shiny new nickle. Cornbread stood for gold you'd earn, or I've heard it stood for health, too. Turnips stood for something much more important: green money. A paradox I've fought with for years. I hate turnip greens. Loathe. Abhor. Nothing has ever made them taste good for me. Ever. I still want to pitch a hissy fit every time I see them served. But, I wanted the green. I mean, with paper money, I could buy ANYTHING. Like my brother, who could just shove mouthful after mouthful of the green fungus into his mouth. Of course, he was the "rich" one between us. He always had money and I was determined to be like him. So, I tried tricking the turnip green money gods. I'd shove a bunch in my mouth, and when no one was looking, spit them out into a napkin. After a couple of years of doing this, it still didn't work. Hmm. I realized, that I'd probably have to swallow this slimy, disgusting pile of greens. So, I tried a new technique: just swallowing them whole. I'd put a small amount in, and then chug it down with some milk. It worked! I didn't even taste them! I thought I was brilliant and my mother no longer yelled at me for spitting out my food. I still use that technique to this day. If I'm served something I hate, and am in polite company, I'll put some on my plate, and "eat it" anyways.
This year, is my first New Year's away from my family, but my first one with my husband. Of course I have to carry on the tradition of our New Year's dinner. Though, this year, I changed it up a little. I made my mother's traditional black-eyed peas (A tradition that started in 1980 when my mother and father got married). That's them in the picture. It's also the only way my husband will eat black-eyed peas. I cheated a little this year, being that my husband and I both hate turnip greens. We had green beans. Yeah, yeah, it's cheating, but, they're green, and damnit, they taste better. We also had garlic toast, because I fail as a Southern girl and don't have an iron skillet yet for my cornbread. Yes, I could have cooked it in my brownie pan, but it doesn't taste the same. Next year, I will have my iron skillet.
As for resolutions, I never make them, not because I don't follow through with them, but because I forget about them. So, I'm going to try again this year with the resolutions. My one resolution? To do something awesome. We'll see if I can actually follow through this year.