Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year. ~Charles Lamb
Of traditions I don't understand but somehow follow are the odd customs of New Years. Eating certain foods = luck for the New Year & good fortune for the coming year. I enjoy the foods in the South we eat such as Blackeyed Peas & Greens. If these tokens bring fortune we'd better hope Wall Street was enjoying a large share.
In Mexico they have a few traditions of their own which I don't quite get but am certain make as much sense as our eating greens & peas! On the stroke of midnight people stuff 12 grapes into their mouths at once & chewing, swallowing, etc. I am certain this custom has caused choking episodes on a grand scale! Then there is the custom of going out the door & coming back in with suitcases in hand announcing it will be a very prosperous year. This for me won't work as we go & come on a regular basis with suitcases out that door & it seems rather redundant...I'm certain many Expats living abroad feel this same way. The most confusing custom however is the one involving a sheep. I have seen these sheep for years around the holidays & till recently assumed they were for the nativity or nacimientos. I was wrong though. I was told they are for good luck in the New Year. The sheep often have coins tied around the neck & should be placed by the door so as to bring good luck. Hmmm, not sure I am getting it but seems pretty harmless. Frankly if we can have our Blackeyed Peas & Greens then Mexico can have the grapes & little stuffed sheep.(...and that little borrego only cost me 10 pesos, ha!)They do have to be given to someone for the "luck" to actually work... The final odd custom I've recently heard was about red underwear & was Spanish in origin. I am certain that some underwear sales person made this one up & was laughing all the way to the bank in the New Year! Happy New Year~Próspero Año Nuevo.
1.) I resolve to use my resources wisely
2.) I resolve to make every moment count with loved ones
3.) I resolve to speak softly & wisely
4.) I resolve to live life while in Mexico 1 day at a time
5.) I resolve to do more for others & not wait for someone else to do it
Thanks to Carolina Blonde with Blonde Appetit I am going to tag the following: Hey ladies...I hope that you try and document your 2009 Resolutions or Predictions: Elizabeth with The Behind the Wheel Chef , Kate with Knitter Gal, & Lauren with Bytes from Texas. Happy New Year ladies and Good luck! I look forward to reading your thoughts!
Braised Greens with Bacon
1/2 pound bacon slices, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. onion chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 lb. Swiss Chard or Mustard Greens, washed, stems removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot heat oil and bacon over high heat until bacon is well browned. Stir in garlic,onion and cook until onions are translucent . De-glaze with vegetable or chicken stock and vinegar. Add sugar and greens and partially cover. Lower heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Makes 8 servings.
*My husband's Grandmother cooked her greens with only the water which clinging to the leaves after she washed them. That works for some of the more tender greens but for sturdier greens such as Chard the bitter flavor cooks out with stock or extra water added.