If you live in the South, tradition says you must eat boiled cabbage and blackeye peas on New Year’s day for good luck and fortune. And the grocery stores are full of bins of large cabbages. Several days after New Years, one of the bins still had cabbages–they were on sale for $.25 a pound. Of course I purchased one. But rather than cooking more boiled cabbage, I’m making a brined coleslaw and freezing the left-overs.
A Southern tradition is to eat blackeye peas and cabbage on New Year’s day or after the clock rings in the new year at midnight. Blackeye peas mean luck and prosperity. Cabbage, reminding a person of green back dollars, means wealth. My very sweet, Cajun/Italian next door neighbor would share her boiled cabbage greens and blackeye peas if I said I wasn’t cooking any on News Years Day. She made sure we were taken care of.
Traditionally these two foods are boiled, but they can be prepared in other ways as well. There’s no excuse not to eat these things on New Years day. And if you’re really not a cook, putting a few dried blackeye peas in your pocket has the same effect, I’m told. Coleslaw is easily found in restaurants, those chicken fast-food chains and easily made from a mix from the supermarket.