So, You Really Want a Terrific 2006? Read On.
Eleanor has been totin' the load this month with some really good stuff, as she always does. We, on the other hand, have been doing some resting and recuperating, and getting ready to take on 2006. We must come out of hiding briefly at this time to render a service to humanity.
As Southerners, we have long felt it to be our obligation to the rest of America and the world to share with you the secret carried by generations of Southerners.
What is that secret? Well, it is: How to ensure good luck for you throughout the year. To accomplish this, however, it takes specific preparatory behaviors begun in 2005, and you do not have a moment to lose. You must be ready to take certain other behaviors as soon as the clock strikes midnight on 31 December 2005 and becomes 1 January 2006.
We published the following guide last year, but we know that we have some new readers. So, in the interest of furthering all mankind, we share the secret again in hopes that you and yours have the best year possible in 2006.
You can take the man out of the South but not the South out of the man, says the maxim. Over the decades, from all over the USA, even to Guam, the South travelled with me. Right now, we live far, far away from our Southern roots, but, when it comes to New Year preparations, we dig into our heritage, as an inviolable tradition: Namely, how to get ready for the New Year and guarantee good luck all year.
It is no secret, neither for family nor for region, so we want to share this marvelous ritual with readers so that they too can have a full year of good luck.
Maybe Southerners are the only Americans who have a specific ritual meal for ushering in the New Year. We are ignorant of any other similar custom from any other region of America.
Well, here goes:
The meal is to be prepared in time for the clock crossing 2400 hours into the New Year, and the key ingredients are to be the very first thing in the mouth as the seconds of the newly arrived year tick off. No champagne, no nothing in the very new, New Year before the first bites of the traditional meal. After those first bites, then consume whatever you want. (What you eat and drink prior to 2400 hours has no influence, so indulge in advance freely).
The first essential dish is a preparation of black-eyed peas. Tradition suggests "hog jowl" be cooked with the peas, but we are vegetarians, so we use a ham analog. Our luck persists with this small change, so it obviously does not upset the metaphysics to use fake ham. We make a black-eyed pea casserole with a nip of Tabasco and a crust of cheddar on top. My, oh my, is it good!
The second essential dish must be turnip greens. Diced turnips are a neat addition as is some fatback, if you have it, or, in our case, some more ham analog. If you are unfamiliar with turnip greens, be advised that you must cook them at least 45 minutes for them to become tender. Be further advised that when they tenderize, they are scrumptious. If you are an afficianado, you know to dash a little vinegar on a steaming mound of turnip greens.
The third essential dish is corn bread. Don't get any of this Yankee "mix" that is sweet. Authentic Southern corn bread is NOT sweet at all. Get something like Martha White cornbread mix made with buttermilk, if you don't make it from scratch. Add cracklins if you have 'em, or crumbled bacon bits, or bacon analog.
With the instant of the arrival of the New Year, have a bite of each; it is crucial to start with the black-eyed peas. After that, you can just chow down on the rest for sheer enjoyment.
It always works: You never know what happens if you don't protect your luck using this tradition, because it never happens--if you follow the tradition. You just cannot know what does not occur. If, during the year, life events kick you in the teeth, just think of where you would have been kicked without this meal.
You can make and feed a passel of people this meal for about five dollars and really spread the good luck around.
You have nothing to lose, except bad luck--for the year. Hmm ... if every single one of us indulged in this good luck feast, perhaps it would change the course of history vis a vis the threat of Islam ...
From all of us at Sixth Column and 6th Column Against Jihad:
HAPPY NEW YEAR! LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!