Do you eat certain foods for luck, on certain days or holidays?

@GardenGerty (104357)
United States
December 30, 2012 7:56pm CST
I know that in the part of the US where I was raised we tried to always have "fat back" pork and black eyed peas for luck on New Year's Day.Other parts of the country eat something called Hoppin John which is black eyed peas with rice and pork.Maybe with peppers. Others like greens, and say that eating greens brings wealth (green money) or that having cornbread with that meal is fortunate if you eat cornbread made from yellow corn meal because it is like gold. I know that in Chinese Restaurants we can have New Year's Cookies with a single almond--are those for Chinese New Year, and are they lucky? Are corned beef and cabbage supposed to be lucky at St. Patrick's Day? If you have food traditions, will you share them. I know that at the beginning of Lent pancakes are traditional, as you are to use up all your cooking oil until after Easter. Somewhere else I read that you are tu eat whatever is in your pantry on New Year's Day to demonstrate frugality. So share your culinary traditions with me. . . I want something good to eat.
8 people like this
39 responses
@vandana7 (68713)
• India
31 Dec 12
Wow...those are some superstitions..lol Out here, people eat a sweet made from jaggery and sesame seeds around January 15th, which is a festival called Sankranthi. It is supposed to calm the mind and help people be soft spoken to each other, and consequently remain friends. I dont know if there is any scientific explanation for this, but it is a tradition in some parts of the country. :)
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
There may be a special quality to sesame seeds. I believe jaggery is a kind of sugar, right? I hope you have a sweet and good year my friend.
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@vandana7 (68713)
• India
31 Dec 12
I wish you the same too GardenGerty.
3 people like this
@Hatley (164465)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Dec 12
hi vandana now I know what my Indian friends gave to me when oyur little support g oup last met. It was made with sesameseeds and was really quite delicious.It was funny as we were all diabetics and the treat did raise my blood sugar a bit. My son and I were going to move from Tustin and this was a sort of on voyage be t sadly the move never happened and at the time our world turned upside down., That's when I was forced to come here to Gold C rest retirement center to live as the events had made us homeless.We are finally better off but still cannot afford to move back into a 2 bedroom apartment.I do w ish you both a very Happy New Year.
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@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
31 Dec 12
WE did nt have one in the west that I know of but wehn went to the south was blackeyed peas and hog jowl hard to find hog jowl here but we try and black eyeds peas can be found in a can
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Hog jowl, fat back. . . I think we just turned that to ham and bacon, as your are right, the other is not very readily available. I will get myself a can of black eyed peas and probably a can of collard greens today. I have a package of "bacon ends and pieces" which will do for fat pork. In fact I think my mom always said we were to get "salt pork" which I guess is kind of like bacon.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 12
The experience that I have had with "salt pork" describes a 2" cube of FAT. It is most certainly not one of my favorite things to eat. Bacon or ham, on the other hand, are two of my favorite things to cook with and eat.
2 people like this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
31 Dec 12
I just can't think of any traditional foods in our culture that symbolize luck. But mom usually cook fried noodles on birthdays. Noodles symbolises longevity but no mention of luck.
3 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Well, longevity is good luck, I guess. I can see the symbolism of noodles for long life. I hope you have a really great New Year.
@May2k8 (7011)
• Indonesia
31 Dec 12
we eat rice cone at a special celebration so that our lives become better in the future. I do not know that we are living in this tradition, because it was mixed with the foreign culture.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
I have had other people respond and say they eat sticky rice so that their family will stick together. Your culture is like ours in the US, it is a mixture of many cultures. We are lucky as we can pick and choose what we like as our heritage.
• United States
31 Dec 12
Hi GG, nothing out of the ordinary here. I'm baking some pork chops and sauerkraut for New Years and I did find a can of black-eyed peas which I love. I'll cook up something special for myself with the peas. I have half a bag of potatoes too, so I'll make myself some mashed. It'll be a nice meal and hopefully bring a little luck for this coming year, although my last one wasn't too bad. Anyways, Happy New Year GG!
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Several of the responders mentioned pork and sauerkraut, so it must be good. I think I am headed for a Chinese buffet today, before donating blood. I am glad this was a good year for you.
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@deazil (4547)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Hi GG! I read that corned beef and cabbage was eaten on New Years day for good luck and prosperity in the coming year in an Irish household. I grew up in an Irish Catholic home but never heard that. I don't recall any particular foods being eaten for luck. But on New Year's day my mother usually cooked a ham and vegetables, like squash, mashed potatoes, carrots, etc. I don't like squash. We always had corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's day. Abraham Lincoln's inaugural dinner was corned beef and cabbage, just to throw in a little trivia for ya. There's a tradition of the "peppermint pig" started in the 1800's in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., but that was a Christmas tradition. And it was supposed to bring good luck. Certainly not for the peppermint pig, though, which was broken apart by each person, in turn, seated at the table, with a little metal hammer. That's here www.peppermintpig.com and here www.saratogasweets.com/peppermint-pig-tale.cfm And I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!!
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• United States
31 Dec 12
This is the very first time that I have heard of a "Peppermint Pig." I am guessing that it was made of ceramic material. Is that right?
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I always associate corned beef and cabbage with St. Patty's, though I never had it. As you see from Finlander60, baked ham and sweet potatoes are what he ate at his Irish grandparents at New Years. (Do not let the name fool you, he is Finlander on his dad's side, Irish on his mom's) I had heard of the Peppermint pig but not sure of the context. It is not a tradition I had experienced. I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well.
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• United States
31 Dec 12
How am I going to have any SECRETS if you tell them to anyone who doesn't even ask?
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• United States
31 Dec 12
Hey Gerty, some of those traditions are celebrated in the US, my family will have the black eye peas, collard greens, and some cornbread with some beef ribs and bake chicken ( we don't eat pork) we always have the black eyed peas my mom demand that we have them. I have never had hopping john it sounds good minus the pork. Happy New Year to you.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I live in Kansas, and grew up in Oklahoma. You could put some other meat in it. I think the point is to be frugal and use up whatever you have on hand and still make a good meal. I can see beef ribs going well with this. I will definitely have to make cornbread for my husband, he likes it better than cake. I have not ever had collard greens, but I like spinach and beet greens really well.
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• United States
31 Dec 12
Oh yeah, frugal is what I am, you gotta try the collard greens there GOOD, I haven't had beet greens, and I love spinach.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I got to try beet greens when I grew my own beets. They are good raw or cooked, and to me they taste buttery. I know I can get canned collard greens here, so I should eat some greens this week to attract money.
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@Pegasus72 (1901)
1 Jan 13
We have a lot of food tradtions do I think any of them are lucky, certainly not, I haven't even heard of certain foods bringing luck. I know we changed up Christmas for the first time this year. Instead of having Ham or Turkey we had Prime Rib instead and boy was id delicious. So Glad we were able to try it.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
We had steak and potatoes for Christmas, with the trimmings of course. I have turkeys in my freezer, and ham as well,and we will eat that later on this year. I do not really believe in luck, just passing on what my family did when I was growing up. From what I have read on some websites it was more a matter of very frugally using up whatever you had on hand to make room for new things in the new year.
@Pegasus72 (1901)
1 Jan 13
Today for New Years we are having one of the turkeys we have in the freezer, mashed taters, veggies, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, and rolls. The turkey smells wonderfull, and it is time for me to mash up the the taters so everything is ready when my husband and daugther get home.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
3 Jan 13
Sounds so very homey and delicious.
@celticeagle (120554)
• Boise, Idaho
31 Dec 12
Not for luck. I am a traditional person so I do eat turkey on the holidays. Oh, yes and corned beef and cabbage too on St. Pat's Day. More out of respect for my heritage than for luck. Something good to eat? Not sure of anything. I have an odd recipe for ribs and sour kraut. I like it! Sweet and sour and all.
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Ribs and sauerkraut sound really good together. I think many of these "lucky" foods basically honor our heritage.
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@celticeagle (120554)
• Boise, Idaho
31 Dec 12
Yes, pork is supposed to be for good luck. And you put an open purse outside to bring you money in the new year and you bury money in your yard to help you grow money in the new year.
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• United States
1 Jan 13
How is burying money in the yard going to help you grow more money for the "new year?"
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@peavey (16866)
• United States
1 Jan 13
We always try to have beans and cornbread. It's supposed to bring you good luck during the year - or prosperity or something like that. We won't do it this year though because everyone has had a virus and no one feels up to eating beans.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Cornbread represents gold, I guess the beans like the blackeyed peas are for frugality. I am sorry you are all ill. I hope my luck in that respect continues and I stay healthy all this month and next as well.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Oh, I didn't know that. I need to eat cornbread more often! I hope you stay healthy, too. This being sick is for the birds.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
3 Jan 13
I have not been seriously sick in a long time, so when it happens, I am afraid it is going to be bad.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I haven't established food traditions...although when I was a teen and took over cooking for my parents (I was planning menus and cooking meals for a family of four when I was twelve) I taught them very quickly to keep me happy. If they annoyed me I would either treat them like Greek Gods and serve them burnt offerings or I would leave the food half raw, which ever was the more horrible way to present the food. My meals for New Years Eve and New Years Day are as follows: For New Year's Eve we're having New York cut steaks with au gratin potatoes and home made yeast rolls. Then for New Year's day I am doing a center cut rib roast wrapped in bacon done on the Underwear* Rotisserie basted with bbq sauce and then there will be garlic/Parisian roasted potatoes and the home made yeast rolls. Bill will be bringing down peaches to go with the meals. I don't know if anything we're eating is lucky, but it will be good! Plus with the roast we will have enough left over to make sandwiches on the 3rd. (I have to go to my doctor at Stanford Hospital on the 2nd.) I have been hungry for fortune cookies, and I guess I am going to have to find somewhere to buy some. It is so funny what my system craves! I guess I'll have to call a Chinese take out place and find out how much they would charge for about ten fortune cookies... *For those wondering what an "Underwear" rotisserie is, it is actually supposed to be a Farberware rotisserie! The spelling corrector came up with the "underwear" rotisserie and I got a super chuckle out of it, and had to use it....I hope others will see the humor in the correction too!
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I hear so many stories about autocorrect. . . I was wondering about the underwear. Your post sounds delicious, especially since I have not had breakfast yet. We had a steak dinner for our early Christmas dinner. I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You may find us on your porch later looking for handouts.
1 person likes this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Uhhh, no hand outs! We would set a very special place at the table for you! You would be so very very welcome to share our meal and home with us! In fact if you happen to head California way you are more than welcome to come and experience our crazy lifestyle! I just had a neighbor drop off some home grown pork. He gave us blue cheese pork sausages (I can't eat the blue cheese sausage because I am terribly allergic to mold...but Bill will love the sausage) and then there are four absolutely beautiful ham steaks...YUM! I couldn't resist leaving the "underwear rotisserie" it conjures up some interesting images. Like boxer shorts, panties and a couple bras going round and round while they are turning black from the heat. Wonder how they'll taste? A bit charred? Just remember that my door is always open for you. Of course you will understand how come I am so crazy and so are all my critters! Have a wonderful New Year's eve and day!
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Oh, no!!!! You have just reminded me of the laminated underwear my sil got for my brother one year. Or rather, she got the underwear, then had it laminated, at a store where he was working! while he was there!!Crazy runs in my family.
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@bostonphil (4420)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I live in Texas and people eat black eyed peas for good luck. I do not particularly like them so I eat them in a cold salad that I buy at my organic supermarket. The name of the salad is Texas Caviar. I buy a small amount. I have also heard that pork and sauerkraut are supposed to bring good luck. Also, cabbage. I eat a lot of different things for good luck on New year's Eve and Day. Sometimes, I end up with digestive problems from mixing up so many foods. I think that i will try to be a little more careful this year. The Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight.
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I guess the pork and sauerkraut are from the influence of the Germans who settled heavily there. I had heard of, and forgotten, the twelve grapes at midnight. I am starting a shopping list for today. I have sauerkraut and pork on hand, grapes would be good. I hope your digestion has a happy new year.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 12
I had a really decent year. I do not think it was because of the good luck foods that I ate on NewYear's Eve and New Year's Day but, just in case, I will do it all over again. Happy New Year.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Yes, why mess with success.
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@drannhh (15245)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I just put my broccoli and shrimp recipe on my blog I have enjoyed some interesting concoctions at Chinese New Year's parties, usually with red beans, which I like very much. The Japanese gentleman who recently went on record as the oldest living man in the world said he likes red beans, so that is encouraging. But no, nothing I make is for good luck on any particular day and my only food ritual is to try to eat up the seeds I saved from last year's pumpkin before opening this year's pumpkin, and that might be to avoid bad luck. Oh, come to think of it, saving my Halloween pumpkin and making pies out of it for Thanksgiving and Christmas is sort of a ritual. Well, maybe there are more I've forgotten. I love corned beef with or without cabbage any day of the year. I buy that when it is on sale. I think the best thing I made this year was my own version of eggs in a nest: I layer a pie pan with tender ham and cover it with biscuit dough. Then I cut circles out of the dough and put them along the edge. After the biscuits start to rise I drop whole eggs into the holes and grate cheese over the eggs then bake again until the eggs are done. Sometimes I pour gravy over half of the biscuits before baking the eggs, but usually I serve the gravy at the table and people can put their own on, as that way the biscuits are crunchier on top and flakier on the inside. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. I don't eat that kind of breakfast every day or I could be enormous,
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• United States
31 Dec 12
That sounds like a great way to have breakfast. With ham, biscuits and gravy it sounds complete.
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@drannhh (15245)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I like the eggs runny and the gravy thick. And a glass of orange juice. Mmmmm.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
Well, it is now breakfast time, so we will see what gets cooked. It does sound delicious.
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• United States
1 Jan 13
I can't say that I'm familiar with any of these! Growing up Catholic, we were not allowed to eat meat on Fridays during Lent, although my mom told us that until 1969, adults had to fast that day! I've heard of the Christmas Eve tradition, that of eating the Seven Fishes, but we never practiced it. And also during Lent, we always had to give up something like candy or soda or fast food; you couldn't have it from Ash Wednesday until after Easter. Those are the only ones that I'm familiar with.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
It seems to me that at one point when I was in Junior Hi or High School they relaxed the meatless Fridays rule. My hubby says in his schools Fridays were always macaroni and cheese (which he hates) or fish sticks. He would leave school and eat downtown. Pasta makes him nauseous. I have not heard of eating the seven fishes, I will have to look that up. I know a lot of people do oyster stew for Christmas Eve, but we never did. One time mom made some, but at that time it grossed me out. I bet I would like it now. These days lots of people give something up for Lent, even those who are not religious or believers at all. I find that hilarious. Usually it was chocolate that my acquaintnces gaver up.
• United States
2 Jan 13
I think the Feast of the Seven Fishes was more an Italian tradition; I remember shaking my head at my NON-Italian Aunt claiming that they ate it every year. My father (her older brother) said NO. My parents used to eat deviled clams, or my mom would have flounder; once my sister and I were born, that went to pasta. And then when we were older and in school, it became pizza. But I remember when I was in elementary school, it was fish sticks (I don't like seafood of any type) or tuna. Thank goodness they changed that to pizza! My daughter (who wasn't really raised in the Catholic faith because of her father) participated in the rituals when she was younger because of my mother. One year, she even agreed to give up McDonald's and she lost a lot of weight! She was extremely proud of herself too! I always laugh at those that give up something for Lent, especially if they're not even Catholic! I used to encourage them to learn the meaning behind Lent (or any other religious ritual they're not familiar with), but since they generally ignored me, I don't even bother to listen to them crow about their "achievement".
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• China
31 Dec 12
Good thread! here we usually eat the dumpling on Chinese New Year's Eve,which is a sort of wheaten food made by stuffing finely chopped meat and vegetable in a wrapper,in a semicircle shape.Since the dumpling is shaped like an ingot used as money in old times,so eating dumpling means getting rich next year like your eating greens and cornbread.We eat round sweet dumplings made of glutinous rice flour at the Lantern Festival-the night of the 15th of the 1st lunar month,That means everything will be complete success.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
31 Dec 12
I have seen the dumplings in our Chinese buffet restaurants, and I can see how they are symbolic of good fortune. I think all cultures have their symbols for luck and then they just work their way into being a tradition. I could sample something from each post here and have a wonderful New Year's buffet.
• China
1 Jan 13
First of all,wish you a happy New Year! Yes,no matter where people live in,they usually have their own way to be thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck by eating something on certain special occasion.I reckon this is exactly what the tradition is all about.
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• Dhaka, Bangladesh
1 Jan 13
Hi friend, I have never heard in my life that food can change or improve the fate of any man or woman. But we know that good foods improve our health and keep us fit for hard work. Have a nice day.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Food does not really make us happy or lucky, I know that is just a superstition. Like you, I try to eat good foods so that I will be healthy.
@JenInTN (27564)
• United States
1 Jan 13
We do the black eye peas and pork thing here. I remember greens too when I was little but I just do the black peas. My b/f is from Indiana and I think he did corned beef and cabbage the first New Year he was with us. I'll have to ask him about that to make sure I'm not thinking of St Patrick's Day.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
Up until now, in this discussion, I had always heard of that for St. Patricks, but a few people have mentioned it for the New Year. Whatever you eat, I wish you a good and profitable New Year.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
1 Jan 13
I've not usually held with the eat-for-luck here at the new year's time. But I've decided to go with the flow this year. I just put the black-eyed peas to soak and looked up a recipe for a cornbread that might be better than my own. Hoppin John, rice and cornbread; that will be enough for me. Didn't think to get any collards, kale or other greens. Guess I'll just have to do without the money. Been doing that for a long time anyway. So, I'm all set for this new year's day at least. But I don't think I'll be carrying it all the way through for any of the other 'luck' days.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
I may get around to the cornbread, I should for hubby. He thinks it is better than cake any day. I am very relaxed about the "eating for luck" but this seemed a fun discussion to start, and I love black eyed peas. We bought a can of mustard greens cause hubby says that is what he likes. We eat spinach for green a lot. Have a great New Year.
@RawBill1 (8541)
• Gold Coast, Australia
1 Jan 13
No, not for me. Today is just like any other day food wise. I started off with a large green smoothie and will see what happens after that. It is pretty hot here today, so salads and fruit are very appealing! Happy New Year GG, hope it is fantastic for you.
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
I have started with a half a big apple and scrambled eggs filled with mushrooms, peppers and onions. I do not go meatless or turn down dairy, so I put some bacon and cheese with the eggs. Also had a potato patty. I will eat a raw spinach salad tonight at work as that seems to make me feel really good.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
1 Jan 13
I've never spent much time thinking about bad luck, because I believe each person makes his or her own luck. Perhaps this is why I never buy lottery tickets, because I'm scared that I'd win. Of course I never take silly chances either like driving or riding in a car with no seatbelts. Only an unlucky person would do a thing like that!
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@GardenGerty (104357)
• United States
1 Jan 13
In my home these "traditions" were more for fun. I did live in a household that attracted bad luck through some bad choices.They also made some good ones. I am pretty well with you on being reasonably safe and being positive and making my own good fortune.