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Good Fortune in the New Year

It’s the week of the New Year's celebration.

My family had Swedish New Year's traditions and my wife’s family has southern traditions. Here in our house we go with the southern.This means on News Year's day we eat black eyed peas and cornbread. It’s quite good, so I want to share it with “y’all” today.

There is something very special about celebrating the New Year. We have a feeling that we can leave behind the things that went awry in the outgoing year and start fresh, filled with hope and enthusiasm. Isn’t that a great feeling? In keeping with that thought, people do have a tendency to enhance the positive aspect of the coming year. One way is through New Year's traditions.

One such tradition is making New Year's resolutions. This was quite popular in past generations, but I believe New Year's resolutions has lost some appeal to the younger generation. Personally, I was never a big fan of these resolutions, though no one can accuse me of being in the “younger generation”. I tried resolutions a few times but never had the discipline to see them through. It occurred to me that those who were disciplined enough to carry out their New Year's resolutions could do so anytime of year without waiting for a particular date.

My wife has roots in the American South and on New Year's Day would eat black eyed peas and corn bread. This was to bring good luck throughout the New Year. I think this is great. This takes very little discipline! Some families would put a penny in the black eyed peas and whoever got the penny was said to have better fortune than all the rest. Of course, that could only be if they didn’t catch that penny in the back of their throat and choke to death. And, only if the penny was first sterilized so the family didn’t get sick from the bacteria that resides on all currency. Hmmmm, so many things to be careful of.

Well, here’s a great recipe for corn bread. As far as the black eyed peas go, just buy a can and warm them up!

Corn Bread

1 cup yellow corn meal¾ cup all purpose flour½ cup sugar1 ½ tsp baking powder1 tsp salt2 large eggs½ cup buttermilk¼ cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly grease an 8 inch square pan and dust with corn meal or flour.

Stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, buttermilk and oil, combine the wet ingredients with the dry being sure not to over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared 8 inch pan and bake until just set in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Allow the corn bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before serving with the warmed black eyed peas.

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What is your favorite homecoming tradition?
The football game
Float-building/the parade
Dress up days
The dance
Crowning the homecoming king and queen