I was not wise to the tradition of a New Year's Day meal to bring good fortune and prosperity in the new year. Lucky for me, my husband Mike knew just what to do!

I woke up yesterday to a big pot of black eyed peas soaking, and a ham in the refrigerator. I had no idea what I was in for! See, Mike does most of the cooking at home. It's not that I can't cook, it's just that my knowledge and skill level are really pretty limited. Basically, we eat better when Mike cooks! Anyway, Mike explains to me that growing up, his mom always made the same meal every year on New Years Day - ham, black eyed peas, cooked cabbage, and cornbread - with the belief that it will bring good luck in the coming year. I did some research, and here's what I found out.

Black eyed peas represent prosperity. They swell when they are cooked, and suggest growth.

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Pork represents progress. Hogs root in the ground with a sense of constantly pushing forward.

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Cabbage represents good luck and fortune. It is green and leafy, suggestive of  paper money.

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Cornbread represents wealth - gold. It looks like gold, and it tastes like heaven so it was a win-win for me!

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I guess we'll have to wait until 2014 for me to tell you if it worked or not, but I can promise you one thing. I did not go to bed hungry last night!