Friday, January 2, 2009

Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Damn Good Food

Are you one of the unfortunates who had to go to work today? You know A. did, which means I got up early too, so if you ARE at work, take comfort in the fact that today is not a holiday for me either. Although (I can hear you--and A.--saying now), isn't every day kind of a holiday when you don't have a job? Sure, every day you don't have to shovel the world's longest goddamn driveway BY HAND.


Today is not about my many (MANY) impressive feats of strength and endurance--today is about food. Wheee! That's MUCH more fun.

I have already told you that I'm not much for New Year's Eve, but I do have a tradition for New Year's Day that I refuse to relinquish no matter the circumstances. Every New Year's Day since A. and I have been together, I've made the traditional New Year's Day meal to ensure health, wealth, and happiness. This is a Southern tradition, passed along to me by my mom, who is from New Orleans and who I may have referred to as Mama Sue on this site, even though that isn't really what anyone calls her EVER and I'm not really that Southern. I think I may be considered a Southerner once-removed? Whatever, I still make the New Year's Day dinner, because we could all use some more health, wealth, and happiness. Plus, it tastes really damn good.

So. Different areas of the South have different variations on this meal, but Mama Sue's meal always includes pork for health (I know--the irony, right?), greens for wealth, and black-eyed peas for happiness. This year, the pork was a big ole pork loin roast, the greens were a mixture of turnip and collard greens (cooked a LONG TIME, until they're dead--this is no time for crunchy greens), and the black-eyed peas were the ones I always make that are pretty much exactly the same as the red beans and rice, except . . . well, with black-eyed peas instead of red beans.

And you always have to make a whole pot of black-eyed peas, which means you'd better have some guests to help you eat all the food. And also, it's always good to spread the health, wealth, and happiness around. So we had two of the MiL's friends over for dinner (everyone say hi to Mikey-not-the-Life-kid and her husband!). And the MiL made my birthday cake (a chocolate roulade, which is a flourless chocolate cake rolled jelly-roll style around whipped cream--it is the BEST cake in THE WORLD), except we all sang "Happy New Year to All" instead of happy birthday to me. And then we all ate too much. A good time was had by all.

So if you haven't had your health, wealth, and happiness meal yet, you'd better get on that. I can't speak to the effectiveness of it if it's not eaten on New Year's Day, but at the very least, you get to eat pork, greens, and black-eyed peas. That should guarantee you happiness for the duration of the meal, anyway. But as for the health and wealth . . . well, you're on your own for those.


Allison said...

Our office was supposed to be open but the director decided to close it; so many people were out anyway and we aren't getting any mail. So we're closed.

Happy New Year and happy belated birthday!

Leslie said...

I got to work bright and early this morning. I will likely be the only one here. I plan to crank up the music and plug away on my projects. If only it were 5 o'clock!

Anonymous said...

I'm at work today. Of course. Would (my place of business) have it any other way?

Anonymous said...

AGH! I am at work and it is STUPID. I am totally done with any and all work I can possibly do, and it's not even 11am yet. GRRRR.

Anyhoo, your New Year's feast sounds delicious. We had pulled pork BBQ sammiches, mac 'n' cheese & green beans yesterday (from a local soul food place - I was far too lazy to cook).

HAPPY 2009!

It's me said...

I'm at work and completely pissed about it. Boss was an ASS to me on Wednesday and I don't even want to bother being here. GRRRRRR.

Chiot's Run said...

We celebrate the German tradition of eating sauerkraut & pork for a prosperous New Year. My dad has his famous recipe and is chef for the day.

I am at work today (well working from home, but still working).

FinnyKnits said...

Well, we got the pork part right. Bacon meatloaf and brussels sprouts with bacon dijon sauce.

I will eat some beans for lunch today. Too late?

Anonymous said...

I hope that "Life Kid" has grown up by now and eats wonderful food like Kristin made last night rather than just crunchy bland cereal!

My mini Side Car was very nice too.

And I thank you for inviting us.

Health, wealth, happiness, more green eggs, and some help with the driveway.... my wishes.