Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne & Blackeyed Peas

"Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

I sing it every year. Don't you? Right there at the stroke of midnight?? After laying your lips on the one you love, hoping to spend the next year with, singing those lyrics brings closure to the old year and brightness to the new one ahead.

New Year's Eve is one of the most fun nights of the year. Our family is known for having a movie fest after eating sushi at the Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood. We always reminisce about the year, the things we are ready to say goodbye to and most importantly the things we look forward to.

Ever wondered why we eat certain foods on New Year's Day?? Here's a little history, taken from several different sources, that I thought I'd share.

Luck, Prosperity, Wealth and Fortune, Fertility, Health, Long Life.....many reasons to celebrate a new year.

Traditionally New Year's foods are thought to bring luck. It's thought that what one does and eats on New Year's Day affects their luck throughout their entire year. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring symbolizes coming full circle, completing a year's cycle. For example, the Dutch eat donuts for good fortune.

Blackeyed peas are a tradition in the USA for luck, often prepared with ham because eating Ham on New Year's Day suggests prosperity.

Eating greens symbolizes fortune, which should bring money throughout the year. In other cultures, cabbage leaves are a symbol of prosperity. Rice is a symbol of luck. And noodles are a symbol of long life and health.

North America, Europe and Asian countries eat fish to celebrate. Fish are considered a sign of moving forward into another year since fish only swim forward. Others think that since fish swim in schools they symbolize abundance.

Pomegranates are eaten in Mediterranean countries for fertility.

At midnight on New Year's Eve, revelers in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries eat 12 grapes — one for every strike of the clock and month in the year. It celebrates the coming of a sweet year.

So there you have it.

I'm excited to embark on a new year. I always make my special Savannah Dip with lots of spinach for good fortune, blackeyed peas via the crock seasoned with ham and rice for luck with these pork chops for prosperity.

Happy New Year to all!!!

New Year's Day Pork Chops
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
6 pork chops, trimmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, thoroughly blend soy sauce, vegetable oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup.

Place pork chops in a medium baking dish, and spread with 1/2 the sauce.

Bake pork chops 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn, and spread with remaining sauce. Continue baking 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of the chops has reached 160 degrees.

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