Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day tradition

We have a New Year's Day tradition in the South of eating black-eyed peas for good luck and cabbage for money. I cook the peas with sausage, and bake cornbread and also cook some rice (Louisiana tradition). Damn! that's good eatin'. I don't like the taste or smell of cooked cabbage so I eat cole slaw. Maybe that's why I'm broke.

It appears this tradition in my family will die out with my generation. My kids do not really like black-eyed peas. My oldest daughter cannot even stand the smell of them cooking. I don't have a problem with the tradition dying out. I'm not superstitious about luck or money; I believe you (usually) make your own of each, unless you manage a large bank or insurance company or a hedge fund, or you're a politician, in which case you rape the working class for your money.

The sense of loss I feel is that future generations will miss learning the history of these and other traditions, and passing along the traditions and the history to the next generation. For example, black-eyed peas were a staple crop of the agrarian South used to feed cattle and slaves. Many Northerners (polite euphemism for damn Yankees) refuse to eat black-eyed peas to this day because they are still considered animal feed. Same with catfish, a Southern-fried delicacy, though I hear catfish is becoming more popular in the north. They probably don't fry it properly, though. It must be fried in corn meal, not flour. Anyway, it's too damn cold there now for me to go find out for sure.

The tradition has, however, served me very well. Though I've been through all manner of ups and downs, I am lucky to the point of feeling blessed. I have a beautiful, intelligent, sexy wife; my children are happy and healthy; our grandson is happy and healthy and a true joy to have with us; I have a great job and usually have money enough to pay the bills. I wish for my children to feel as blessed as I do, no matter how their lives unfold.

To a happy and prosperous 2010!