UNDATED, Miss. (WCBI) — According to tradition, there are certain foods that must be added to the menu for your meal on the first day of the year 2014.
To ensure a positive and prosperous outcome in the new year, some Mississippians hold to the tradition of eating what some call lucky foods. And some people start preparing their dish ahead of time.
“There are certain things you cook a day before for seasoning. And I always soak my peas overnight,” said Minnie Fox, Oktibbeha County.
“All mine the same day. So I don’t do mine ahead. That’s how I am, I do mine the same day. Get up early and get on the pot, get it in the pot and get it cooking,” said Ollie McClendon, Macon.
“But I like to do mine the day before because to me, like it makes the seasoning go through it better. make it taste better the day before,” said Tinnie Turner, Macon.
The dish has come to be called Hoppin John and greens, hog jowl or snout, and black-eyed peas are cooked and eaten in order to help the eater fare well.
“The peas is suppose to be for prosperity and the greens is for you know money. And the hog jowl is for good luck too. And I have corn bread and sometime I have ribs,” said Turner.
This traditional use of simple foods is a winning combination and they say its worth a try, if only for the benefit of just enjoying a tasty meal.
“All I know this is what my parents use to do. And when I got grown I started doing the same thing,” said Fox.
“Just when you get ready to eat don’t forget to pray over your food. Don’t forget to bless your food because eating that food I think you need to bless that food too,” said Turner.
As the story goes, the pig signifies forward progress in the new year by the forward motion of it’s snout. That’s why hog jowls are considered lucky.
But stay away from chicken on New Year’s Day. The chicken scratches backwards with it’s feet. And, that’s why for some people, the bird is a no no.