We live in the South, the Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia to be precise. Food is as integral to our lives as is the case for most people and cultures. There are so many traditions associated with food. What one eats on certain holidays. Favorite dishes, meals, desserts that are prepared, purchased, served for birthdays, weddings, parties, reunions, wakes. I grew up in this area, one county north of the one in which we live. Roger grew up in the Hampton/Smithfield area. His mother, however, is from this region originally and he grew up eating some of the same traditional dishes as I.
The culinary mix becomes garbled because I have, at various times over the past 30 years, lived on the Treasure Coast of south Florida (White City), in North Carolina (Dallas), South Carolina (Blacksburg), and for a surreal 8 months on the shore of Lake Ontario in Sodus Point, NY.
Roger was in the Army, and lived in Mainz, Germany for several years.
Our New Years meal will consist of:
Corn Casserole - it has the element of cornbread, but Roger doesn't like just a piece of cornbread. I, on the other hand, could eat an entire skillet of cornbread as long as I had honey and butter at hand.
Steamed Cabbage - fried is too greasy, boiled is too limp.
Fried potato and ham hash - because potatoes are essential to our Scots-Irish heritage and that leftover ham has to be gone today. I add diced onion, and use a bacon grease/olive oil/butter mix for the frying.
Black-eyed peas from a can, because some beans are just as good when canned as they are cooked from dried. I use Hanover or Bush's.
No rice, no collards or mustard greens or turnip greens.
I will have a bottle of hot sauce at hand, because I like me some spicy heat with my food. Roger douses everything in ketchup. Oh, and he prefers instant mashed potatoes to real ones. I just don't get that at all. Mashed potatoes for me are best when you have just a few lumps, and you can take the leftovers and make fried potato cakes the next day.
We shall eat well and be satisfied, and watch more football. The football season is quickly winding down, and NASCAR will soon be upon us!
Happy New Year! Eat well, be happy and healthy and love well.