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Epicurean Kentuckian Historian: New Year's Day Food
A stick-to-the-basics, don't-tempt-fate menu includes Hog Jowl, Blackeyed Peas, Cabbage & Cornbread, the top authority says. With this information, anyone can do New Year's Day authentically, Suthrenly
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By Mike Watson
Southern cooking, particularly on New Year's Day. Our people were and are Southern.
This fact is never so evident as on the first day of a brand new year when the traditional table fare required is as follows:
- Hog jowl, thick sliced, with the "rind" left on, fried slow and crisp--fresh pork can be used, but aged is better; grease reserved for use in the following dishes;Hog jowl is used instead of country ham because ham is "high-on-the-hog" or meat for the best of times. Jowl is a poor cut of bacon, from the port pantheon, and enjoyed here to promote prosperity and health in the New Year. So, no substitutions, or you may not have that high-on-the-hog diet all year!
Some say cabbage can be replaced with other green, leafy vegetables, but I fear to deviate from the norm. I have been known to mix in other vegetables, including onion and carrot. Cabbage is for the green--a prosperous New Year.
Black Eyed Peas for the health. No substitutes here; though I have mixed in pinto and other beans for a different texture and taste, but the peas must be dominant.
This was and is our noon-day meal. The rest of the day one may enjoy "candy, cake and pie" and any other foods they enjoy, but in our homes, we take the good old country view of jowl, cabbage and black eyes!
Happy New Year, all! -MW
This story was posted on 2013-12-31 08:58:26
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