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New Year’s Traditions

Herring in Wine Sauce for New Year's

Herring in Wine Sauce for New Year’s

New Year’s Day food traditions are a great way to celebrate the beginning of a New Year! Do you have a traditional food favorite or tradition for New Year’s Day?

Terry’s family had traditional foods that were a “must have” to eat on New Year’s Day. However, they also “believed” in not eating a certain type of meat. My mother-in-law insisted that pork needed to be eaten on New Year’s Day. When asked why, the response was always that pigs root, ie rooting in your foundation or burying your treasures. Some say that pigs root forward indicating progress. On the other side of the issue, one was never to eat chicken on New Year’s Day. Why? Chickens scratch the ground and whoever eats chicken on New Year’s Day will be scratching to make ends meet throughout the year. It should also be considered that when scratching, chickens move backward.

Another tradition from Terry’s family is to eat pickled herring. So every year we head to the grocery store to pick up a can of pickled herring. Supposedly if you eat herring on the first day of the New Year, it will bring you good fortune. Beware that if you wait until the last minute, your grocery store may not have any herring left on the shelf. For this year, we discovered pickled herring in a wine sauce, sounds yummy.

Many of the food traditions for New Year’s appear to be in search of prosperity for the future. For example leafy, green vegetables are popular because their appearance may remind one of paper money. Other foods that are round resemble coins Be sure to include beans. Fish scales are also said to resemble coins, so fish is often is included.

Ringed foods like round cakes and doughnuts are thought to bring one full-circle.

Perhaps the one food that I like the thought of is on New Year’s Eve at midnight eating 12 grapes. Each grape is said to represent one month. Each grape that is  sour or bitter is thought to represent a not-so-good month; each grape that is sweet will be a good month. Now that I think about that, am I willing to leave every month up to chance? What if all of the grapes were tart? Would I need to wait until 2018 for a good month?

Maybe I’ll just settle for enjoying a glass of sparkling wine, whether it be cava, champagne or presecco. Of course, adding a frozen raspberry will make it even more festive.


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