We cannot prove that eating certain foods on New Year's Day brings luck and prosperity, but most of us aren't taking any chances. To be a day that marks new beginnings, we sure do like to repeat our traditions. It's a fresh start for our old habits.
Maybe it's not our foodstuffs but our intentions that bring any luck. In honor of the first day of a brand new year, let's enjoy good food, celebrate our goofy superstitions, and indulge in hope. We're stepping off on the good foot. What could be luckier than that?
Eating certain foods for luck is common worldwide. There is remarkable consistency across cultures in what foods we consider lucky, including those that don't regard January 1 as the first day of their new year. The most popular propitious foods are grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes, and cakes. This menu covers five of the six, so the odds are in our favor.
New Year's Brunch: The Menu
• Grapefruit Mimosas (get the recipe) - A pink sparkler to get the party started, each glass swagged with a perky kumquat.
• Hoppin' John Risotto with Collard Pesto (get the recipe) - A risotto that bridges brunch and lunch, creamy and Southern-inspired, with a healthy dose of lucky black-eyed peas and a dollop of bright green collard pesto.
• Fresh Grape Cake with Luscious Lemon Sauce (get the recipe) - A warm cake full of juicy grapes and served with the most luscious, spectacular lemon sauce — made (shhh!) with only two very special ingredients.
Happy New Year!
Sheri Castle is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, recipe tester, and culinary instructor. She is the author of The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes. Sheri is known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal. She hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains but now lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, daughter, and beloved dog. She is fueled by farmers' market fare and excellent bourbon. Check her out at www.shericastle.com.
(Images: Faith Durand)