(RNN) If 2011 didn't seem to be your year, try stacking the deck in 2012 by following some of these new year culinary traditions.
Grab the Champagne and dig into some of the worlds luckiest foods:
One WAFF-48 viewer says her mom prepares, "… black eyed peas and hog jaw. I don't eat it (eewww). Maybe that's why I have such bad luck."
Blacked eyed peas are a common American dish to prepare on New Year's Day in the South, sometimes in the dish called Hoppin' John, which includes an equally lucky ingredient – pork.
Beans, because of their round shape, are thought to symbolize prosperity and money, according to Delish.com. The type of legume used varies culture to culture. For example Delish.com says, "Italians eat pork sausages and green lentils, Brazilians serve lentils and rice, and the Japanese eat sweet black beans called kuro-mame."
"Sausage & sauerkraut," was the answer for one WXIX viewer when asked about New Years traditions.
Sauerkraut fits into the cabbage category of good luck foods. Good Housekeeping says cabbage has been a popular choice for bringing fortune because of its green color which is often associated with money.
Collard greens are popular cabbage choices in New Year's recipes in the South. With the economic problems plaguing the country and the unemployment, loading up on the greens might be just the trick for a fruitful new year. Or at least help you eat more veggies.
Pork is a main component in many New Year's dishes - like Hoppin' John. Pigs represent prosperity as well as wealth because of their plump bodies. Pigs also move forward as they search for food, which is a good sign when moving forward into the new year, according to Delish.com.
Granted, if one of your New Year's resolutions is eating healthy in 2012, maybe limit yourself to one pork feast on New Year's Day. One should be enough to keep you lucky throughout the year.
Soba noodles are popular in Japan and signify long life, according to Good Housekeeping, but only if you eat them in one slurp.
Shrimp are also said to signify living to old age because the curve of the shrimp is similar to the hunch of an elderly person's back, Delish.com says.
Fish also are a symbol of moving forward and in some cultures are considered bountiful because they swim in schools.
Pittsburghlive.com says in certain cultures fish can symbolize long life, good harvest or fertility. But be careful, not all seafood is favorable to Lady Luck. For instance, lobsters swim backwards and could lead to setbacks - in the same way poultry is bad luck because they scratch backwards, according to Delish.com.
Babble.com says that grapes are a big Spanish tradition. On the stroke of midnight everyone eats one grape in time with the chiming of the clock. If you finish by the last chime, you'll have a fruitful - pun intended - year.
Some say that each grape represents a month, and if you get a sour grape you can expect a turbulent month. Don't like grapes? Try pomegranate. It's another fruit that since ancient times has been known for fertility and abundance according to Pittsburgh.com.
If you're looking to finish off the meal with a little dessert, try a round cake. Babble.com says, "Ring-shaped cakes and other baked goods symbolize wholeness and the completion of a full year's cycle." These cakes are different depending on the culture but often a coin or some other object is hidden inside. Whoever gets the object will have a very lucky year.
Remember to practice your toast for a prosperous new year and drink to the dregs of your glass. Pop that Champagne, it scares away that devil that skulks around on New Years Eve, according to Citybeat.com. No matter how bad 2011 was, there's a year that has the potential to be better – especially with a little extra boost of luck. Cheers!
1 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
2 stalk(s) celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 package(s) (16-ounce) dry black-eyed peas
1 large (about 3/4 pound) smoked ham hock
2 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon(s) red pepper, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon(s) salt
2 cup(s) regular long-grain rice
parsley, chopped, for garnish
In 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add celery, onion, and red pepper; cook 10 minutes until golden. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
Rinse peas with running cold water and discard any stones or shriveled peas. Add peas, ham hock, chicken broth, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water to celery mixture; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 minutes or until peas are tender.
Meanwhile, prepare rice as label directs, but use 1 teaspoon salt and do not add margarine or butter.
In large bowl, gently mix pea mixture and rice. Serve hot. Garnish with chopped parsley if you like.