Because Granny Said So - Moss in the Trees Blog at - 214479

Moss in the Trees

Because Granny Said So 
Dec. 31, 2010 6:25 am 
Updated: Jan. 8, 2011 6:03 pm
Although I grew up (mostly) in Georgia, my own momma most definetely is not of the "belle" variety.  Right after high school, I married the baby of a very large, very southern family. And so, I learned about southern traditions and customs mainly from my mother-in-law, known in the family as Granny. Granny taught me that an ice water bath for chicken made the skin crispier when it is fried, any kind of greens must be accompanied by pork and a hoe cake, and real banana pudding is cooked, never from an instant mix.

Cultural groups through out the world celebrate the New Year with special food traditions. The Japaneese eat soba noodles; long buckwheat noodles, when eaten unbroken the noodles symbolize a long life. In many South American countries, people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Each grape represents a month of the new year; a sweet grape means it will be a good month but a sour grape is bad omen. Pomegranates are considered a lucky New Years food in Turkey because of its ruby red color and many seeds, which represent wealth (1).

An interesting fact, to me, is that many different cultures deem the same foods to be lucky or unlucky. Chicken is an unlucky food through out the world because it might fly away with your luck and because the chicken scratches backwards for its food. This backward scratching can symbolize a set back in one's life, something to be avoided on New Years Day!  Pigs, on the other hand, move forward as they root for their food, therefore pork is a holiday staple. Societies across the globe also serve some type of bean or pea on News Years. The round shape of the legume is thought to represent coins. Greens, such as cabbage or collards, are also a common food thought to bring prosperity because of its symbolic resembence to paper money (1).

Personally, I don't hold much with luck. Good things happen and we are thankful. Bad things happen and we are discouraged. So the world turns. Even so, at my house tomorrow we will be eating broiled pork chops, fresh-shelled black eye peas, collard greens and a hoe cake.  Not because I truly believe that these foods will bring luck and money to my family in 2011, but because Granny said so.

Dec. 31, 2010 6:40 am
Cute blog! And, I always wondered why my Grandma said we had to eat pork on New Year's Day!
Dec. 31, 2010 8:58 am
I really enjoyed your blog and can totally relate to Granny said so! Many of our family food favorites and traditions exist and always will because of that proclamation. That being said, tomorrow we will dine on fried hog jowl, black eye peas, rice, collard greens, and cracklin' cornbread. Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone!
Dec. 31, 2010 11:16 am
i'm south georgia so black-eye peas and collards and pig butt is tradition here!
Dec. 31, 2010 10:01 pm
mother ann & nbntsmomma, thanks you & happy news yr! gderr, i'm in south ga as well. small world!
Jan. 1, 2011 5:09 am
Great blog!! I had my 12 grapes lovely traditions all good true or not who knows...
Jan. 2, 2011 11:52 am
thanks, purple. eating grapes is a tradition that i had never heard of before i researched this topic. Cultural food traditions are very interesting to me.
Jan. 2, 2011 9:59 pm
Great blog! So nice to know that I am not the only one out there with cultural traditions. I don't hold much stock in superstitions, but we did have pork on New Year's Day, because my Mom (God rest her soul) would be haunting me...I believe in trying to keep your family close and keeping memories close to your heart. Happy New Year!
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About Me
My favorite things to cook
Like any good southern mama, I cook a lot of traditional southern foods but I really enjoy experimenting with ethnic foods, soups and vegetarian dishes. I use locally grown produce, which I can & freeze, as much as possible and I am always on the look out for recipes for all of the fish & venision that my darlin' hubby brings home.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I learned to cook from some very talented home cooks. There were never any lessons, just time spent in the kitchen watching and asking questions. Now, I enjoy working in the kitchen with my almost-grown daughter.
My cooking triumphs
The first time my husband said my fried chicken was as good as his mama's, I felt like I won the lottery!
My cooking tragedies
When I was a very pregnant newlywed (20ish yrs ago) I tried to make chicken and dumplings for the first time. I stirred that pot, to keep it from burning of course, until all of the dumplings dissolved into a thick gravy-like soup. I cried because my dish was ruined, but my sweet husband ate it anyway!
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