New Year’s Eve is here as we head into 2011. For some 2010 was a year of monumental moments and exciting opportunities, for others 2010 was a challenge or a mixed bag of blessings and challenges. Many like to view the New Year’s holiday as a time of new beginnings. The best way to celebrate a new beginning is with some sort of ceremony, no matter how large or small, New Year’s is a good time to take stock of our lives and re-organize our priorities, hopes and dreams.
Here are a few fun food suggestions to make the day enjoyable for the whole family.
In many cultures around the world, New Year’s food is symbolic and is eaten to bring prosperity, health, well being and happiness for the following year. Here are some traditional New Year’s Foods that can be served to add fun to the celebration.
While cultures do differ, here are some foods that are considered to increase good fortune in most cultures. Consider eating some lucky foods on New Years Eve and New Year’s Day.
In many Latin and Spanish speaking countries people eat one grape for every hour at midnight (12 grapes) are eaten and represent the 12 months of the year. If a grape is sweet and it is the fifth grape, it means your May will be will be filled with sweetness, yet if a grape is sour, prepare yourself for some challenges that month.
EAT TWELVE GRAPES IN TWELVE SECONDS 🙂
The goal is to eat the 12th grape by the stroke of 12. 🙂
Eat beans for prosperity in Italy, Japan and America beans equal wealth, so the eating of beans insures financial security for the upcoming year. They can either be eaten on New Year’s Day or Eve. Some actually eat a combination of beans and pork (also a lucky food) just after midnight.
In America, black eyed peas and hamhock bring prosperity.
In Asia, its sweet black beans
In Italy its beans and sausage
Here are some great bean recipe’s for the New Year’s feast.
In America, its collard greens, in Germany its sauerkraut (cabbage) in Danish tradition its Kale with cinnamon and sugar. Whatever green leafy vegetable you want to cook, the more you eat the richer you will be. (come on, you buy this line of thinking)
Simply, greens represent folded money 🙂 And if they are eaten in any form they are supposed to bring the abundance of wealth. Or rather, cold hard cash, I just can’t think of any family that couldn’t use that!
Pigs push forward and root for their food, symbolizing progress and prosperity as their meat is full of fat. The idea is, consume pork and you will be a great entrepreneur. So moms, fix a nice ham and you may be seeing your dreams of a business opportunity materialize. Hey you never know.
Here is a recipe for Lucky Pig
Traditionally fish has been served as a first meal of the year in many countries all over the globe, because fish like cod, herring and sardines were very easily preserved and prepared for holiday feasts.
In Japan fish eggs are served for fertility, in Poland its pickled herring at midnight, Italy enjoys dried salt cod and in Germany you chow on carp. Fish is meant to represent a healthy robust life. Here is a great New Year’s fish recipe.
In China, dumplings represent an old form of currency and thus represent financial wealth. They are also a plain pocket filled with taste and nutrition; also representing a simple life of abundance. Superstition advises that one purchase dumplings vs. buying them because making your own abundance (ie, measuring ingredients and making enough for guests) is not as prosperous as receiving them and giving them.
Here is a link to healthy frozen dumplings:
Noodles represent a long life. Most countries believe that pasta, noodles and long stringy things you eat, represent a long life. So… op-ah to living, pass the capellini!
Here is a fun noodle recipe.
And finally to make life sweet and joyous…
Traditionally, ring shaped cakes are eaten to represent the wholeness of a year and the fullness of one’s life cycle. I also believe that eating something sweet means that life is gonna be sweet. While, I am a mom who tries to avoid sugar for my kids, having something nice and sweet to look forward to, helps emphasize that even through the tough times (homework, time out, consequences) life can still be sweet. In Latin America sweetness is served in rings of bread with the baby Jesus hidden inside. In Greece licorice flavored cakes are eaten. I love to serve Japanese mochi, which is a sweet gummy rice ball filled with sugared bean paste or ice cream. Yuck you may think…but oooh you haven’t tried it, cause if you had, you may love it. So I will close this post with a homage to my favorite New Year’s food.