"Hoppin' John" on New Year's Day is an old Southern tradition. Granddad Ralph always fixed hog jowls, greens (turnip or collard), black-eyed peas, and rice. I always had my "Windy Wood Bite"* because those are NOT my faves. He said that it was important to eat them for health and wealth for the upcoming year.
In keeping with tradition, BJ fixed us collards, black-eyed peas with ham, rice, and cornbread (plus mac & cheese). Since we couldn't remember what represented what, I googled hoppin' John to find out that supposedly the peas represented coins and the greens represent $$. No health was mentioned anywhere, but I did find peace. At least we can think positive thoughts, and beans are good for you, right?
I thought this quote signifies the day:
Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace.
~ Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day.
How did you spend the first day of the new year?
*When I attened Camp Windy Wood for many, many summers, we had to take a bite of everything at each meal, hence the term "Windy Wood Bite." I made the mistake of telling my parents about it so they adopted the tradition, too.