- The Black Eyed Peas are for good luck, as they represent coins.
- Cooked Greens (Cabbage or Collards) are also good luck as they represent folded money
- Eating Pork is Good Luck on New Years because it's a time to look Forward, not backwards (and pigs are incapable of turning their heads backwards to look behind them) Also, pigs represent prosperity therefor, the fatter the pig, the fatter your wallet in the coming year.
- Cornbread- which is often served with hoppin' john represents gold/wealth.
- Sliced or stewed tomatoes, consumed for Health in the coming year
Leftover Layering: New Years Day Hoppin' John
1 cup cooked ham or cooked hog jowl-chopped
1 cup onion-chopped
2 garlic cloves-minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil or bacon/hog jowl drippings-divided
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 can black eyed peas-rinsed and drained
s and p - to taste
4 cups cooked shredded collard greens
1. In a large skillet, cook ham/hog jowl, onion, and garlic in 1 tbsp oil or drippings until lightly browned.
2. Stir in rice, peas, s and p. Cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from skillet.
3. Add remaining oil or drippings into skillet. Add cabbage; saute until crisp tender.
4. Add rice and saute 2-3 more minutes.
5. Add pea mixture back to skillet and heat through.
6. Transfer to a large serving platter and enjoy.
*Instead of heating everything together in skillet, can heat separately and layer plate
Also, tradition says that you should NEVER do anything on New Years Day that you wouldn't want to do ALL YEAR Long, because you set the pace for your New Year with what you do on New Years! aka, unless you want to spend all year doing laundry
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