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Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year Traditions

With the start of the new year a number of people make vows (a/k/a resolutions) of dieting, exercising, spending more time with the family . . .this list could go on and on and on.  I am not going to blog about that.

This is about New Year's Day traditions.  For me, it is dinner at mom's house. We have had the same meal for as long as I can remember and nobody better change it.  And, now that I am older, I understand the reason for this specific meal.

You see, we always have lasagna.  This may sound like an odd choice, especially since there isn't a drop of Italian blood on either side of the family, but that is what we eat the first day of every year.  She made the pan up every December 31st and put it in the refrigerator to keep. Then, she would put on a beautiful dress she bought for the special night and my father would put on a suit (a very rare occurrence for this iron worker) and the two would go out to their favorite restaurant.  They would enjoy a nice meal and dance the night away.  I couldn't wait to grow up and put on a pretty dress and go out and celebrate New Year's Eve.

The next afternoon, the lasagna would go in the oven.  I used to think it was so she wasn't stuck in the kitchen cooking while there were parades and football to watch.  No, my mother wasn't hung over and I don't think I have ever seen her even tipsy. But, it was always a late night and she wanted to sleep in and have a lazy day. Now the making of the meal has fallen to me and I appreciate this tradition all the more.  We made the pans up for the family and headed to mom's to pop them in the oven.  After all, I do make the best lasagna in the family (though my sister likes to disagree) and I don't want to spend the first day of the year in the kitchen either.

The second tradition, and one far more important, the eating of cabbage.  We usually make a slaw, but regardless of how it is prepared, we had to have a least one bite of cabbage New Years Day for wealth and prosperity.  My kids hated cabbage and also insisted it didn't work. When I pointed out that they did have a roof over their head, clothing on their back and food in their belly, it was working.  I am not about to chance it this late in life by not eating cabbage because I like how things are going for me.  And really, how hard is it to make cole slaw?  Buy a bag of already shredded cabbage and carrots, mix in cole slaw dressing (you can buy it with the other salad dressings) add some celery seed, stick the bowl in the fridge to chill and at dinner time - you have cole slaw.  I don't even bother with buying the premade because you never know what you are getting.  Sometimes it is too sweet and sometimes too tangy.

Do you have a New Year's Day tradition? Is there a food you must eat for prosperity?  Or, is there a food you eat for other reason?

For the record, my resolution for the new year is to get my house clutter free, organized and keep it that way.  I should diet, change eating habits and exercise, and all that, but I am only kidding myself if I thought that would actually happen ;).

Happy New Year, Everyone

Amy De Trempe
Duchess of Decency


  1. My New Year's resolution is drop weight, and hopefully get healthier in the process. It's a very common goal, but for me it's so necessary. I have some health issues that would virtually disappear if I dropped 40lbs, so there you go. :)
    Good luck on your goals this year, and Happy New Year!

  2. Amy ~ It's so funny you would post this particular blog. I've lived most of my life in the south. And for us the New Year's meal had to include black-eyed peas, no matter what else was served. My mother always told us we had to have at least *one* pea for luck (even if it was doused in ketchup.)

    Yesterday I spent New Year's lunch with my BFF from a German settled area of Pennsylvania and they ate sauerkraut for the cabbage. *blech* (Not sure if I've ever mentioned how VERY picky I am, but sauerkraut is never on the menu.)

    SHE had never eaten a black-eyed pea, and had never heard of it as a New Year's traditional food. And for a moment I thought it was just my family's tradition until I went to the store to make up a batch to take to her house and I got the very last 2 cans in the whole store. THEN I realized it must be a southern thing. I'll take lucky every day - and I was so lucky to have those peas with me yesterday or I'd have had to eat sauerkraut. ;)

  3. Ave, I've heard about the tradition of black-eyed pease, but I will take my slaw over those any day. I happen to like sauerkraut too.

    Olivia, good luck on the weight loss. I know I need to drop some pounds and I will kinda work at it. Whenever I set myself up for a diet and exercise program it always fails. I do better if I just pay attention to what I am eating. Of course, I don't reach any goals that way either.

  4. We don't really have any real New Years traditions other than just taking it easy and having a lazy day. I may have to try the slaw and black eye peas next year lol. Maybe it'll improve my luck - which I could always use more luck lol.

    My new year's resolution for myself is to spend more time with my kids and learn to write a first draft is less then three months. I'd also like to get more organized in my life rather than just my writing life. We'll see how well I do lol. Good luck with all of your resolutions ladies! I believe in you!!

  5. Suzie, I would love to be able to get a first draft done in three months. My muse seems to be taking it easy lately. I did get my office cleaned and organized. Maybe he is lost and thinks he is in the wrong place and still looking for me so we can get to work - lol. One of my problems with getting novels finished is because I have three going and can't seem to stay with one long enough to write the end because the other characters don't like being neglected. Maybe I spoiled them all too much ;).

  6. Amy,

    We don't have any New Year's traditions, but my mom used to make black eyed peas when I was growning up. I've never liked peas, so I didn't eat them.

    I haven't thought a lot about goals for the year beyond making it through the next two months and painting my living room. I bet once I have time to take a deep breath I'll figure out all sorts of things I want to do this year. :)