|Kale Salad- Lucky and Healthy|
The Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight. One grape for each stroke of the clock (and each month of the year), a practice which began in 1909 with a grape surplus in the Alicante region of Spain. The idea stuck and actually spread to Portugal (except they have 13 grapes) and former Spanish colonies.The rub to this tradition is if you get a sour grape- the month it represent you will have a bad month. For instance, if the 10th grape you eat is sour, then October will be a rough month. One of these years, I am going to try this one.
Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) look like coins so they are supposed to be lucky as well. In the South of the United States- "Hoppin John" (black eyed peas) are a standard New Year food. In Italy
Fish are thought to bring good fortune because they swim forward; others believe they symbolize abundance because they swim in schools. In Japan, fish and other seafood are also consumed because they symbolize fertility (the herring roe), long-life (shrimp) and sardines (good harvest).
In many Asian countries noodles are eaten at the New Year to represent a long life. There is one catch- you cannot cut or break the noodle before it is in your mouth.
Cakes (especially round cakes because they represent coming full circle) are also eaten in several countries- in Italy they eat panetonne, in Greece- vassilopita (a cake with a hidden good-luck coin), and in Mexico- rosca de reyes cake.
The couple of foods to avoid are lobster (they swim backwards and you could lead to setbacks), chicken (they scratch backwards which could result in regret), and winged fowl (your good luck could fly away).
This year we had a small dinner party and asked everyone to bring a "lucky" food. The results were delicious and hopefully lucky. Here is what we had:
Mexican Seven Layer Dip (lucky food: beans)
Pepper Cheese Coins (lucky food: coins)
Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing (Lucky food: greens)
Jambalaya (Lucky food: shrimp)
Pork Ribs (Lucky food: pork)
Bacon Wrapped Pork with Red Currant and Onion Relish (lucky food: double pork!)
Rosemary and Garlic Rubbed Pork with Rosemary Chimichurri (lucky food: pork)
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Sauerkraut (lucky food: greens)
Duche de Leche Cheesecake Bars