As a new year approaches . . .


New Year‘s Eve is almost here in LA, and it’s already arrived for some of you. And I am hoping you all have a wonderful beginning to the new year, and a wonderful year to come.


Party animals that we aren’t, we plan a quiet one here, probably cuddled together, watching the countdown on TV. When we were growing up, Sister S and I used to pilfer a little of our dad’s Christmas libations to celebrate the New Year (Mogen David kosher wine, concord grape, was the drink of choice for this Southern Baptist, who largely limited his imbibing to a little Christmas cheer and a cold beer or two during haybaling season each summer).


We’d pour it in a couple of our parents’ crystal champagne glasses and feel terribly elegant and slightly wicked. When the clock struck twelve, S and I would toast one another and clink our glasses together ever so carefully, just to hear that lovely ring.

Many people here in the South believe you have to start the new year off with the right foods. Traditionally, black-eyed peas and howl jowls (aka pork cheek) are believed to bring you good luck in the year to come. Add in some type of greens–collard greens the most typical choice–for prosperity. It IS the color of money here in the U.S. And you’ll likely want to add some cornbread. Not for good luck or riches. Just because peas practically demand it. 😀

thCAONCAP0new years 3

Left: A sign sighted in North Carolina. Right: A plate promising prosperity and luck in the new year, with black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens.

I have a confession to make. I don’t really like black-eyed peas all that much. No, I don’t have to turn in my official GRITS (Girl Raised in the South) card. I love peas–I just prefer a different variety. Mama and Daddy raised pink-eyed purple-hulled peas every year in our garden, and these, firmer and slightly sweeter than the black-eyed variety, were, and are, my field peas of choice. Are these peas and ham or bacon any more or less lucky than their black-eyed, hog-jowled counterparts? I don’t know. I just prefer the way they taste.

Above, the afore-mentioned purple-hulled peas, the photo courtesy of Alabama’s own Auburn University. NOT the school I support. 😉

Anyway, this year will soon be gone into the annals of history. Christmas is over and Santa is back at home, resting up after his oh-so-busy night. And he, like many of us, has a few companions who enjoy cuddling with him. I don’t think it’s too late to share this charming image with you:


19 responses »

  1. Wishing you a wonderful New Year and 2013 as well Angie.

    There are no traditional foods being eaten here ( I’m not sure Australia has any traditional food except barbecues..) and I’m going to be struggling to stay up until midnight tonight but will try. The 9pm fireworks are the big ones in Sydney because that is when families attend ( and it’s midnight in NZ, the first over the date line although I somehow doubt that figured in the reasoning knowing the Oz/NZ rivalry) and we can hear them from home. My neighbour can see them, if she stands on the loo in the upstairs bathroom 😉

    We’ve also had our lovely rescue dog, Emily, a year today. this time last year I was trying to persuade a very timid girl into the house- having never been inside a house before, she thought she was in deep, deep trouble and cried all evening to be let out – which we couldn’t do because of the fireworks. Whatva difference a year makes.

    Happy New Year to everyone who visits this blog,

    Bolly xx

    • So “put another shrimp on the barbie” isn’t just a stereotype? 😉 Bless you for taking in that timid girl, Emily. I am sure she is very glad now she did come inside. 😀

      • Oh you should see the size of our shrimps Angie! I did think of mangoes as a national food but i only like them in a daiquiri so i’m not sure if that really counts.

        It was our lucky day when we found Emily. She is totally and utterly fabulous. I blush modestly when people praise her lovely manners and i blame her history when she disgraces herself!

        • I bet they’re magnificent. 😉 I love shrimp. My poor mom was highly allergic to all shellfish but luckily didn’t pass that to me–I just can’t take sulfa or penicillin.

          I honestly think some of the best pets are the ones we don’t actively go looking for. Somehow they find US.

      • During prohibition, you could still get Mogen David sometimes because it was a religious tradition. Maybe your father got a taste when he was very young, and since then, he thought that’s what wine was. I’ve never been able to have the Southern New Year’s food (legume allergy), but I do remember some great New Year’s dinners. One year, I did six courses, one each hour, culminating with an apricot souffle at midnight.

        • You, know I hadn’t thought about that. I just know that’s what he wanted each Christmas and we’d get him a bottle. You know, Benny and I were actually engaged on New Year’s Ever back in 1984. Between his arthritis and my FMS/arthritis, neither of us are quite the spry young things we were back then, but the love is even stronger. 😀

          • Happy engagement anniversary! I’m so thrilled that the love has just gotten stronger. (A New Year’s Eve kiss led to me getting married, too.)

            • 😀 Yes, I think it’s important for people to know there are happy unions, that are still strong with a deep attachment even after more than 27 years. We’ve had our ups and downs, of course, who doesn’t? But as I told him tonight, we know whatever we may face, we face it together.

  2. May 2013 be a wonderful year to you and yours, Angie! And to all RA fans!

    All the best wishes to everyone!

    (And thanks for this lovely blog!)


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