Cabbage, peas for the New Year

GROVES — The southern tradition of eating cabbage and peas for money and good luck in the New Year is going strong locally.

Betty Whitley picked up three heads of cabbage and some peas at Bruce’s Market Basket on Thursday.

“I’m getting the cabbage to go along with the black-eye peas,” Whitley said. “It’s our New Year’s tradition. The family gets together and I’m the designated cook and I love to cook.”

Whitley shared some of her cabbage recipe. First she cuts the cabbage up and seasons it raw. Then she puts some bacon, onions and bell pepper in a skillet and sautés that down before frying the cabbage in the skillet.

Whitley also takes a small piece of cabbage, puts a pea in the center, rolls it up and seals it with clear tape. She gives each of her children one to place in their wallet for good luck and money.

Larry Rivas chooses a head of cabbage at Bruce’s Market Basket in Groves, restocks black-eye peas on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Larry Rivas chooses a head of cabbage at Bruce’s Market Basket in Groves, restocks black-eye peas on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

Larry and Addie Rivas also stopped by the store to grab peas and cabbage.

“For Thanksgiving we have ham and turkey. For Christmas we have chicken and sausage gumbo and on New Years we have cabbage and black-eye peas and stuffed pork roast,” Larry Rivas said.

Chris Lemaire, an employee at Bruce’s Market Basket in Groves, restocks blackeye peas on Thursday. Mary Meaux/The News

Chris Lemaire, an employee at Bruce’s Market Basket in Groves, restocks blackeye peas on Thursday.
Mary Meaux/The News

According to the The Old Farmer’s Almanac, eating lucky foods isn’t just for the southern U.S., some areas of the world eat any ring-shaped treat, such as a doughnut, symbolizing coming full circle and in Dutch homes, and fritters are served. The Irish are said to enjoy pastries called bannocks awhile in Spain there is the tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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