My grandparents, like so many others of German descent, had a tradition of eating pork and saukrout on New Years day. I (gasp) don’t like sourkrout but like the idea of symbolic foods at New Year. If you asked them about it, “they just do (did) it because it’s supposed to be lucky”. In China, as I understand it, noodles are eaten at special occasions because their shape symbolizes longevity and oranges are a traditional new years food because their color is like gold in a way and it symbolizes prosperity. I read on the internet once that the pork on New Years came from the Pennsylvania Dutch, because pigs are believed to always move forward as they forage, not looking back. I like that symbolism, as much as luck (it was good fortune for them, in low income early 20th century appalachia to HAVE pork at all) .
My husband’s family lived for a short time in Louisianna. My mother in law makes a rocking jambalaya. And that is the story of how Jambalika came to be: It is a mild version of Jambalya, heavy on pork, and light on the hot spices (youngling likes it better that way) Rice is a symbol for abundance and prosperity in both oriental and western magical traditions, so that works for the New Year motif too.
Not to mention it is a good excuse for a big pot of pulled pork to gnosh on New Years Eve while we are watching New Year’s Rocking Eve on TV and playing board games until the ball drops. Simple, not a big deal, but fun just the same. We like it.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2015!
Monday – Tofu Tacos (meatless)
Tuesday – wedding soup with sundried tomato cibatta bread
Friday Pasta Primavera and Olive Oil muffins (recipe on foodnetwork.com)