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New Year's Day Family Tradition

Happy New Year!!!  We'll be celebrating the day with a family get-together & our traditional new Year's Day meal. 

What are your family's New Year's Day traditions?  Does your family yet have a tradition?  If not, perhaps this will be the year that you begin.  After all, New Year's Day is a day of new beginnings, and that includes new family traditions!

In our home, our day is centered around our meal of hoppin' john & collard greens.  You can find great recipes for both these southern meals in my recent post here.  (Definitely worth the effort.)   We always add sides of ham, cornbread patties, & a non-traditional addition of German potato salad, just because we love it :)

Hubby is the real worker bee of this meal - rising early in the morning to prepare the greens for a long, slow cook that will be ready by mid-day.  I don't know about other regions, but in the south, many of the eldest family members expect dinner to be served mid-day.  And that's okay, it's just another tradition we try to respect.  The downside to it is that we're all in a food trance for the rest of the day and ready for bed by 6!

Guests will begin arriving at noon, welcomed at the door by a toothsome aroma beckoning them inside.  Once indoors, we all gather around the kitchen island in anticipation of the good things to come as we put the finishing touches on the meal.  Funny, but this meal more than any I really enjoy using the fine china, crystal, & sterling.  It's a nice juxtaposition to serve a meager meal on fancy dinnerware and makes for an interesting tablescape.

Don't you just love the dinner party being held below?  Ooh, la, la elegant, oui?  I love a formal dinner party!


 And speaking of formal dining, I found a great diagram showing the proper placement for a formal dinners.  If you are so inclined to serve a formal New Year's Day meal, this is such a helpful guide.  Just add or subtract implements based on what you plan to serve.   And always remember, my friends, to serve your platters to the left.  That way guests receiving the platter can access with their right (dominant) hand.

For us, this meal is much less about heavy, fat-laden holiday casseroles and more about fresh, nutritious local greens - a nice change of pace after months of holiday foods.  This meal is also considered a means of good luck & prosperity for the coming year - so eat up & enjoy the yumminess!  The more you eat, the more prosperous you will be.

And this year we are adding a new tradition.  Each of us will add $10 to a jar and make a resolution as we do so.  The ones who have achieved their goal by the following New Year's Day will divide the loot.  I do believe that will be a very fine motivator!

Happy New Year to all of you.  May 2012 be full of happy events and great accomplishments!


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