This New Year’s Day Menu Made Easy contains my recipes for peas, greens, cornbread and ribs~all easy, delicious, and (mostly) make ahead.
Each year on January 1, I serve this New Year’s Day meal made easy consisting of black eyed peas, greens, cornbread and ribs. I start buying and prepping for these recipes a day or two ahead. On the morning of New Year’s Day, most of the food prep is done, and all that is left to do is to cook or reheat.
Before I share my recipes, I thought it would be fun to look at the tradition behind the foods that many of traditionally eat on the first day of the year. Even though we who aren’t superstitious don’t put stock into these claims, it is fun to know the why behind them.
What is a traditional New Year’s Day meal?
The traditional New Year’s Day meal, especially in the South, is black-eyed peas, greens, cornbread and pork ribs. Tradition has it that eating these foods on New Year’s Day will bring luck the entire year. Although my family enjoys this meal at the start of every year, we don’t do it for “luck” but rather for the sake of tradition.
Why are black eyed peas and greens eaten on New Year’s Day?
Tradition likens dried peas to coins. Also, since dried peas expand when soaked in water, they are said to represent growing wealth. Leafy greens represent the U.S. currency. Eating these at the beginning of the year supposedly will usher in prosperity for the rest of the year.
Why is pork a traditional food for New Year’s Day?
Pork and sauerkraut is commonly eaten for New Years Day in Pennsylvania-Dutch country. Pork ribs or ham are the more traditional choice for those of us in the South.
What is the difference between baby back ribs and St. Louis style spareribs?
Pork ribs come in 2 common cuts~baby back ribs (smaller, tender, lean and more expensive) and St. Louis style spareribs (larger, fattier, less expensive). Baby back ribs are the only ribs I buy/make. I buy a slab for every two people being served (so 3 slabs for my family of 5 and more if we have guests).
Why is cornbread a traditional New Year’s Day food?
Cornbread represents pocket money or spending money, according to tradition. Again, Southerners will likely always pair greens with cornbread (and pepper sauce) because they just go together. I share an absolutely yummy pimento cheese cornbread recipe below that uses a specific box mix along with store bought pimento cheese. Trust me, this is a cornbread that is crazy easy and always a hit.
For those of you who may have received an Instant Pot for Christmas this year, you absolutely must try my super easy recipe (below) for collard or turnip greens in the Instant Pot. They are as good as any greens you’ll ever eat. And don’t forget to buy pepper sauce!!! One year, I forgot to buy it and when I ran to the stores, every one was sold out! It was awful!! Greens without pepper sauce are never as good! #bepeppersauceprepared:-)
Below are links to all of my recipes.
If you make any of these recipes, I’d love to hear how they turn out. Please leave comments below, and always feel free to ask questions or share your own tweaks and tips:-) As always, thanks so much for visiting Family Savvy. Wishing you a joyful and blessed 2019!!!