On New Year’s Day, I will make some of my favorite “good luck” meal items. I first was alerted of New Year’s food traditions in middle school Spanish class, where I learned about the 12 grapes in Spain. At the stroke of midnight, the citizens of Spain pop one grape for each toll of the bell. All in the hope of good luck for the New Year.
What are other traditional foods for the New Year’s celebrations?
In the South, Hoppin’ John made with Pork, Greens, and Black-eyed peas symbolizing coins will bring wealth in the New Year.
Special pastries are made in German, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, and other places. These pastries include King Cake, donuts, a wreath cake called Kransekage, or specialities with Marzipan or almond flavoring.
Pernil in Puerto Rico will adorn many tables where families gather, as Pork represents abundance.
Asian countries will make rice dishes and dumplings which symbolize wealth for the Lunar New Year later in January. And the ever present citrus salad for health and happiness.
My Menu for New Year’s Day
- French Lentils with Mustard and Bacon, which was a favorite dish at Les Halles in New York City and will represent the coins. Here is the recipe I will use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfflVyts3Xw
- Add some Pomegranate Juice to Champagne.
- I am adding a Citrus Salad to the mix this year, as an ode to Florida where I call home now and it is my first New Year’s here. Supreme three different kinds of citrus (Orange, Grapefruit, and Tangerines are my favorites). Cut some shallot or red onion and soak in water for 15 minutes to cut the bite a bit. Sprinkle on top with some pistachios. Make a sweet dressing with maple syrup or honey, a little dijon if you like or olive oil, along with some light vinegar. I like to use a little white balsamic or a sherry one.
- And an ode to my Swiss/German heritage, I will make some homemade pretzels. I cannot seem to find the original recipe I have, so I might try this one. https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a96960/how-to-make-soft-pretzels/
- And some kind of greens will be made, does anyone have a version I should try?
- Blueberry Buckle, which I will make for a New Year’s Breakfast–a new favorite version is found on Food52 for the “One-Bowl Blueberry Buckle”. https://food52.com/recipes/print/86213
For so many, 2022 has been a difficult year, so I think we should all make something that could gives us a bit of faith that 2023 will be a year to thrive.