Culinary Good Luck Charms

To get the year off to a financially promising and energetic start, the soothsayers tell us that we must eat appropriate symbols of good fortune. Consuming anything that resembles a coin (black-eyed peas, lentils, benne crackers) or cash money (collards or kale) is considered a step closer to a winning lottery ticket.

Some European traditions suggest eating fatty sausage, to represent prosperity. I suppose this is why lots of folks like sauerkraut and wurst (or some variation thereof). If New Year's culinary symbols are of interest, wait just a few more weeks for the Chinese New Year, which begins Jan. 29.

I'm not one to poo-poo financial wellness, and if eating Hoppin' John will improve my portfolio, bring it on. By mistake, I learned a few years ago that frozen black-eyed peas are perfectly acceptable for Hoppin' John, and in fact, I'd venture to say almost preferable to the dried bean. If bacon is out of your personal equation, try seasoning beans with soy sauce, and even a little liquid smoke. Other meatless options include adding some Gimme Lean "sausage" cooked separately and added to the end result.

Before I sign off - today is the final installment of Seasoned Greetings - I want to offer my thanks for making this blog a delicious ball. It has been great fun to watch this plant grow, with your comments and suggestions an integral part.

For now, I leave you with a mini year in review of sorts, a laundry list of some culinary highlights from 2005. Go on and share yours in the comments area below, and here's to adventuring in 2006! Happy New Year.

Favorite new junk food item of 2005: Lay's dill pickle-flavored potato chips. Okay, so I admit, I like chips. And these . . . I really just can't have one.

Favorite ingredients of the year: anchovies, fleur de sel, shrimp, crystallized ginger

Tools I've loved meeting this year: Silicone pot holder, a heavy-bottomed roasting pan big enough for a turkey and one that won't collapse or rust, the 11-cup Cuisinart that Santa brought me

Tools I got closer to this year and can no longer imagine kitchen life without them: dough scraper, silicone baking mat, mortar and pestle

Food I'm eager for in the new year: blood oranges, strong chicken broth and signs of SPRING!

Food I never tire of: Curry, black beans, rice, mangoes, bananas, strong coffee, raisins

Food I resolve to eat less of, at least until I pass my cholesterol test: butter, bacon, brie

Food I resolve to eat more of: fish, morning oatmeal, antioxidant anything. I'm turning 40 next year so I gotta get smart!

By kimodo |  December 30, 2005; 10:20 AM ET  | Category:  New Year's Celebrating
Previous: Whaddya Doin' New Year's Eve? |

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PLEASE! the word is:
pooh-pooh

Main Entry: pooh-pooh
Pronunciation: 'pü-(")pü, pü-'
Variant(s): also pooh /'pü/
Function: verb
Etymology: pooh
intransitive senses : to express contempt or impatience
transitive senses : to express contempt for or make light of : PLAY DOWN, DISMISS

Posted by: pz | December 30, 2005 12:16 PM

Mmmm. Hoppin' John.

Posted by: gg | December 30, 2005 02:12 PM

Thanks Kim!
Thanks for this blog, it's been great to follow and thanks so much for all of your insights, humor and inspiration in your weekly chats.

Happy New Year!!

Posted by: Pat | December 30, 2005 09:43 PM

There is also a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of eating roast pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day, because cabbage is associated with wealth and good luck.

Posted by: Margaret | December 31, 2005 09:19 AM

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