Monday, January 1, 2018

My Roots are showin'!

Mmmmmm, mmmmmmm, mmmmmm  All of my favorite New Years Day fixin's! Hog Jowl or down here in Georgia we say "Hog Jaw". Black Eyed Peas, Turnip Greens ( any greens will do) and Cracklin' Bread ( cornbread with bits and bobs of fried pork fat). Yeah, my roots are definitely showing! This is the Southern New Year's Day feast that I grew up on.  Do you know the meanings behind the South's favorite New Years Day dishes? These dishes are said to bring luck throughout the year!



 Well, this is the way that my granny on my daddy's side always explained it to us.

   Let's start with good ole' Black Eyed Peas. The reckonin' goes all the way back to the Civil War! During the time that the Union forces marched and pillaged their way through the South, they also ravaged, burned or stole all the crops! They considered Black eyed peas livestock feed so they just took what they needed and left most of those crops undisturbed since they had either stole or killed most of our livestock. . Well it was a lucky thing that they left those Black Eyed peas because that is what most Southerners survived on through the hard winter months. Lucky for us they didn't know what they were leaving behind!  Heck, they just didn't know how to fix em.

   Now Turnip greens are pretty obvious. They are as Green as cold hard cash! And since they are a winter crop they are pretty plentiful to bring in the New Year! Some also say that the Green represents all things new, like a newly sprouted Black eye pea!

   Hog Jaws are delicious! I mean all that good ole fried up pork fat! And did you know pigs are very , very smart. And that they can't look behind. And they only root going forward? Yep, How Jaw represents not looking behind at the year past but looking forward to the New Year and the good things to come. Just like Miss Scarlett didn't look back when they were burning Atlanta neither!

   No meal would be complete without Cracklin' Bread! This Golden yellow delight full of all those Cracklin's slathered up with fresh butter and a cold glass of Buttermilk, well eatin' just don't get any better than that! Granny always said that the first young Belle ( like Scarlett O'Hara)  to find a cracklin' in her golden yellow cornbread would be engaged before years end! So you can imagine just how popular Cracklin' bread became! All the Southern Belles used to poke holes in the pones looking for the cracklins so they would know which piece to choose.  And the yellow of the cornmeal represents the Golden band of Marriage!! Since it is just hubby and I today, I made Cracklin' muffins so they would keep fresh. Muffins stay fresher longer than a pone of bread that has been cut into.

I hope you've enjoyed me sharing a little about my roots. Does your family have any New Years Traditions?

Friends I hope that you had a wonderful New Years Day! I pray for Peace, Happiness and Prosperity for you in the coming months!
Much love,
 Jan



3 comments :

  1. Yep! There is nothing better than growing up in the South and living with all the Southern traditions.

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  2. Jan that was a cute rendition of the NYD fixings from your Granny. Of course being 100% southern - we had our BEP's Collards and went upscale with a smoked pork tenderloin. Only thing missing was the cornbread, for just DH and I - I didn't want to fix or make any more food - I should have bought some at publix but just didn't. My grandmother never made cracklin' bread so I didn't know about that. She probably made it as a younger woman because she grew up in South Central Ga. and I'm sure they knew of such things. I think it's very important to keep the old traditions alive and with people eating take out food and never eating as a family at the dining room table - those traditions are being lost left and right. I hope the new year is very good to you and DH and the happy cows. Cheers Mel

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  3. Yep, just what we have every year. Yum!!

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