Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Food Review: Southern Good Luck Foods for the New Year

corn bread on an old wood table

Set the table for a down-home New Year's Eve party. Give your family and friends the best of wishes with these Southern good luck foods for the New Year.

The Deep South of the United States is filled with good people, good times, and good food. Along with this goodness is an air of superstition and food symbolism. And, the New Year is no exception. On New Year's Eve, Southerners have three favorite dishes that are more than just good luck charms. These foods are plentiful and inexpensive.

Here are the three foods you'll find on a Southern table for New Year's Eve dinner. Serve these dishes to your party guests in the hope that y'all will gain wealth, health, and happiness in the coming year.

Serve black-eyed peas to grow your wealth

blackeyed peas


Don't go making the mistake of calling these dried packages of protein beans. Any Southerner will tell you that these are not beans, these are peas. Black-eyed peas, in fact, and they symbolize good luck.

It is believed that eating black-eyed peas will help expand wealth because the peas swell up and expand when cooked. Also, black-eyed peas can endure the rough spots. These peas grow in the harsh southern summer sun when many other plants wither and die.

Black-eyed peas are served often at our house. It's easy to cook black-eyed peas and there are so many ways to prepare these staple foods.  We make a simple black-eyed pea and vegetable soup with onions, carrots, and collard greens.

Patrick and Gina Neeley, from Down Home with the Neeleys on the Food Network, have an awesome recipe for Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon and Pork. Their recipe calls for chicken stock. If you are looking for a low-sodium and vegetarian soup stock, save your vegetable scraps and make your own homemade vegetable soup stock instead.

Add a side of collards to have hope for better things to come

collard greens


Collard greens are the color of money, the color of hope, and the color of new growth. How can you go wrong with the triple crown of good luck?

This West Coast girl had never heard of collards until moving to the South. The bitter taste and tough texture weren't to my liking. Then we started growing collards in our garden and picking the young leaves for our dinners. The flavor is much milder and the leaves are much easier to eat.

Another popular Southern cook, Paula Deen, has a simple dish for a Quick Collard Green Saute that is delicious. If you don't like collard greens, you can substitute any of the cooking greens such as spinach, mustard greens, bok choy, or Chinese cabbage.

Clean your plate with cornbread to keep your good fortune

sliced cornbread
Leqenik by Violetamyftari. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


As my best Southern Gentleman would say, "Gotta slop up all those peas and collards, can't let the good luck go to waste." And a slice of golden cornbread is just the way to save your good fortune. The golden yellow of the cornbread symbolizes riches and because the cornbread rises as it cooks, it is a symbol of increasing wealth.

Add a touch of golden happiness to your New Year's meal with this Buttery Corn Bread Recipe from Taste of Home. This is a simple recipe that just takes a few minutes to mix together and 30 minutes to bake.

Sit back and enjoy your holiday get-together

After dinner, sit back and enjoy the Southern hospitality. Spend quality time with your family and friends. Share some laughter. Sing some happy songs. And, have hope in a prosperous new year.

Posted by Coletta Teske
Coletta Teske

About This Contributor

Coletta Teske writes reviews on books, business management, writing, crafting, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid recycler and shares her tips on recycling. She delights in upcycling an old object, recycling or transforming discarded items into a new treasure.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I never realized that there wer foods to bring good luck. I always learn from you. Thank you and Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Susan! I hope you have a happy and healthy 2015.

  2. I've known for many years about black eyed peas as good luck, as it was a tradition with my hubby's Kansas family and he introduced me to it. Didn't know about collard greens as a symbol of wealth. My St. Louis son-in-law has a family tradition of putting a lettuce leaf in your wallet on New Year's Day as a symbol of prosperity in the new year. :-) And I'd never heard of the corn bread symbol, even though I now live in the South. :) Have to add that one to my list of favorite facts (and have some corn bread soon, as I love it. Happy New Year to you, Coletta. and to the whole crew at Review This.

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Elf! I do love some of these Southern customs. So full of hope.

  3. There is absolutely nothing better than a pan of black-eyed peas rightly seasoned with pork and salt. You will certainly find them on my table tomorrow. It is a tradition! I don't normally buy into the wives tales and symbols, but if I have a year where everything just seems to go wrong, I question if we all eat our black-eyed peas:)

    My husband would tell you that corn bread is essential. My mother often treats him with a skillet of fresh, homemade cornbread. Oh, and I eat spinach, but my sweetheart eats the collard greens for both of us. Happy New Year, Coletta!

    1. I agree, Cynthia! I have come to enjoy black-eyed peas and all the other Southern customs. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  4. My mom always said black eyed peas for luck....heck, if it's for wealth then I better make sure to cook up that bag in my cupboard and eat them tomorrow!

  5. This looks so good! The corn bread especially! I haven't eaten today, so any food blogs I come across are very appealing! The Collard Greens look good too!

  6. Thanks for all this good information Coletta, hopefully I will start 2015 on the right foot now!

  7. A very interesting post. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  8. I have beans with ham hocks on the stove now. But I forgot the cornbread. Darn it. What a tasty post!

  9. Black eyed peas and cornbread are served at our house every New Year!


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