been busily celebrating every possible December holiday, so I’ve been in the
kitchen or at the table with friends and family, but we wanted to make sure to
wish everyone some peace, prosperity and happiness in the coming year.
The naughts, or aughts, or whatever this past decade is called
was a difficult decade for pretty much everyone so I thought a list of lucky, healthy,
wealth-attracting foods might be a good idea.
Grapes: A tradition amongst Spanish speaking people, eating
a grape for each month of the year is thought to bring good luck. However,
grapes also symbolize fertility so be warned and take the necessary
Foods that are Supposed to Look Like Money and Therefore
Will Bring you Money:
Cooked greens such as collard greens and kale represent
folded dollar bills and will bring you wealth. Obviously this is a US
tradition. So what should our Euro-toting friends eat? Rainbow gelato?
Lentils, chickpeas, cow peas, black-eyed peas all
represent coins and wealth. When combined with fatty pork, it’s a natural
wallet enhancer. Which is why
Italians go for the fatty cotechino sausage with lentils, and Southern US
households and those with African backgrounds reach for ‘hoppin’ john: a black
eyed pea and pork stew.
In Turkey, pomegranate arils are supposed to represent
money, which begs the question, what on earth does Turkish money look like?
You definitely want to eat some part of a pig because eating
pork is a nearly universal method of insuring wealth and a bigger waistline.
If longevity were an objective then I’d recommend the
Japanese and Chinese tradition of eating long, uncut noodles. Provided you
don’t choke on the noodles, you will live a long and healthy life. Shrimp dishes also bring you long life
in Japan, so a shrimp and noodle dish should do the trick.
If you are looking to hear the pitter patter of little feet
in the near future and the 12 grape method doesn’t’ work, you could also try
eating some herring roe while invoking the Japanese gods of fertility.
Next we come to the Round Baked Thing category and I’m
going to go out on a culinary historian theory limb and say that round circles
represent eternal life, and I’d like to dedicate this moment to Homer Simpson
and his love of donuts. As the
longest running TV show EVER, there must be something to the whole round baked
theory. To recap: in Italy you can eat chiacchiere, in Holland "ollie bollen", in
Mexico its ‘rosca de reyes, in Greece it’s vasilopita, and in Springfield, its
jelly filled with sprinkles.
Things you Should Not Eat:
Lobster. What??? I love lobster on New Years Eve, although, actually this
could explain a few things. Lobsters crawl backwards and so will your luck and
Chicken: They scratch backwards and will cause you deep
Winged Fowl: Your good fortune will fly away on their wings.
That should help you plan the menu. Now, as to what to wear,
it doesn’t matter as long as your underwear is red. Red underwear wards off the evil eye, however it is a
single-use item and you must throw out the undies the next day. The red
underwear also symbolizes fertility so that could explain why the usually
frugal Italians are throwing out their underwear.
And in the interest of historical accuracy, my clan will be
celebrating New Year’s Eve wearing Roman togas, as the Romans are responsible for
inventing this whole New Years Eve thing. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar was
responsible for introducing the 365-day calendar, which put two-faced, forward
and backwards looking Janus as the god in charge of kicking off a New
Year. So, don your gay
apparel toga with red underwear and have a very, very Happy New Year.