January 16, 2009

a collard greens new year

Happy New Year! We celebrated the New Year with a long-standing Southern tradition of a New Year’s Day meal complete with collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. This meal is supposed to ensure a prosperous year. The peas are eaten for luck and the greens symbolize money and prosperity. Usually some type of pork is included in the meal along with corn bread.

This year, we were visiting friends in another state on New Year’s Day so the kids actually tasted the collard greens and corn bread (usually they don’t dig in). Being in a different environment without their standard backup of mac and cheese increased the likelihood of them trying new food. I can’t say they loved it but there was no audible gagging. My six year old is a pretty adventurous eater anyway so she declared the collard greens to be “pretty good”. My four year old took a small bite and decided to survive on popcorn later that evening.

I am not a fan of cooking black eyed peas or collard greens however I think it is nice for the kids to experience the tradition of bringing in the year by sharing a meal with family and friends. They may not grow to love traditional Southern food but hopefully they will continue to gather with loved ones to usher in the New Year.