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Out on the Limb

One Grape on the Hour

Friday, December 30, 2005

In southern USA, Hoppin John is the traditional good luck New Year's Day dish (with corn bread, of course). I have tried to honor this tradition each year by cooking, at the very least, black eyed peas & onions for good luck.

To tell the truth, Hoppin John just doesn't do it for me any more....not even the vegan version.

So I looked around to see what other cultures consider "good luck" eats; and here is what I found:

(1) mandarin oranges - Chinese
(2) nuts & raisens - Roman
(3) anything ring-shaped - Dutch
(4) anything sweet - Italian
(5) carp - Vietnamese
(6) cabbage stuffed with oysters - Chinese
(7) cake shaped like a snake - Italian
(8) anything green - everybody ($$$)
(9) one grape every hour on the hour - Spain
(10) seven foods on the table that begin with the letter "S" - Iran

A snake is New Year's good luck because it sheds its skin; hence, we are reminded to shed troubles of the past as we begin the new year).

I have no idea what the deal is with the grapes in Spain. I'm intrigued (but then, I get intrigued easily). So here's my plan, because I really want to load on the luck in 2006.

Main dish must be cabbage(8) stuffed with oysters(6) and carp(5).

Desert is a snake-shaped(7) fruit cake loaded with dried mandarin oranges(1), nuts & raisens(2), topped with green(8) jelly beans(4). The head of the snake cake must be ring-shaped(3), and I think I'll fill the ring with the green(8) grapes that I'll need every hour on the hour(9).

But I still need seven "S's". OK. In the S bowl will be strawberries, squid, syrup, sinnamin (give me a break!), sour cream, sweetbread (ewww), and sauerkraut. Stir it all up reaallllll good....and then give it to a couple of students at North Penn High School.
posted by Deb, 6:15 PM


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