2014 is officially here. It’s a brand new year and I hope it’s a great one for each of you! I’ve got our crock pot filled with the traditional sauerkraut, kielbasa, black eyed peas and great northern beans. In my grandparents’ house we always had sauerkraut in the new year. If you’re family stems from other regions then perhaps you’re more familiar with Hoppin’ John or Menudo? Whatever it may be, it’s a tradition most of you are probably familiar with but do you know why? Well in case you were wondering here are some fun facts on New Year food traditions:
Sauerkraut – Is said to bring as many blessings in the new year as the number of shreds of cabbage in the pot.
Beans – Because they resemble coins, aka wealth, they bring good luck. Specifically you have probably heard that black eyed peas are the luckiest. I added some great northern beans to my sauerkraut as well because north is the direction moving upward.
Greens – Resemble paper money and so incorporating them into your dish is said to bring financial insurance.
Pork – Pigs root forward – the direction you want to be moving during the new year and the fat of the pork also represents abundance.
Cornbread – (A great accompaniment to any stew or sauerkraut) is the color of gold and will help increase your bank account.
Pomegranates – All those delicious seeds represent fertility and abundance and the color also represents life (the heart) and good health.
Fish – Fish swim forward, indicating progress like pork (which is also good if you don’t eat pork).
Noodles – Specifically the long variety represent a long, healthy life. But be careful – It’s bad luck to cut or break your noodles!
Chicken / Turkey – Avoid any type of poultry on New Year’s Day. They scratch backwards (which is the wrong way to be going during a fresh new year).
We had a Dutch classic on Monday with the ladies – Oliebollen with raisins- which is said to bring good luck and signify everything coming full circle. The round shape also represents unity and continuity.
Do you have a special tradition in your family? Well, whether you follow any of these or other traditions and whatever you’re eating today I hope it represents the beginning of a very delicious year for you. Happy New Year!
2013 was a pretty monumental year for me. I gave birth to a happy, healthy and beautiful baby girl; I quit my job of over a decade and became a stay-at-home mom; I started my own business; I started my blog; I lost all my baby weight; I celebrated 7 years of marriage with The Hub; I celebrated a whole year of first holidays with the baby; It’s crazy to think this year is already over. I can’t imagine what 2014 has in store for us but I know of a few things I have in store for it. Like…
Celebrating every moment with my little girl. She’ll only be little for so long. Now that she sees and understands so much more than she did as a newborn I am looking forward to venturing out and doing more fun things and having lots of quality family time.
Learning an instrument. Music has always been not just “a” but “the” big influence in my life. It’s no wonder my daughter is already dancing and singing all the time. I want her to have that connection and outlet with music too but on an even bigger level if that’s at all possible. I never played any instruments growing up so I hope that by learning now maybe it will inspire her to give it a try.
Investing more time in my craft and craft space. I have lots of ideas scrapbooked away for the gift shop for 2014. We’ve had to reorganize things in our house a few times now with the new baby moving around and getting into everything but now that it’s done I’m really getting excited to get my dedicated craft room set up so I can get to work. I can’t wait to dig in and get my hands dirty!
Becoming more familiar with the natural foods store and all it has to offer. It helps to know what natural remedies are available for things as they come up but also, even though my pregnancy was fantastic, it left me with some new things to work on aside from just stretch marks (like eczema). I reworked our menu to introduce as many super foods as possible, cut back on the no-no’s and boost our intake of fiber and key vitamins. In 2014 I want to make sure my family is eating well and feeling their very best.
Growing our own food. We attempted a garden last year but aside from getting it planted late we had a bit of a pest problem and didn’t get as great a turn out as we had been hoping. Now that we’ve tackled those obstacles though I am looking forward to a garden a’plenty in 2014.
Being more efficient. When I quit my job this year I set out to do all I could to save us money to make up for my lack of a paycheck. In 2014 I hope to do even better with our efficiency by reusing and repurposing things to cut back on waste and avoid extra spending, fixing things ourselves, and structuring meals to get more bang for our buck.
Creating “Our Places”. It’s important for us to create traditions that we can enjoy year after year with our daughter (and any kids we may have in the future). Trips to look forward to, events to plan on every year, etc. One place I have in mind is Holland, Michigan. Their annual Tulip Festival not only happens every year right around my birthday but our daughter’s nickname has been Tulip since before she was born. (And who knows, maybe when she’s older we can visit the motherland and take in The Keukenhof’s massive tulip festival).
Strengthening our faith & Finalizing our family mission statement. The mission statement was actually The Hub’s idea and it’s a pretty good one I think. I believe at the core of its success lies our faith – both in each other and in God. Not much brings you closer to God than having a baby. She is our joy but apparently also our salvation and cause to protect, value and cherish all that is good. Of course there’s plenty more things I hope I can check off my list for 2014…like losing 20 more pounds, finishing my book, selling our house, buying a new home, etc. But 2013 proved that few things are far more important than faith & family – even with less money and personal time and wherever we are, if we are together, I know we’re home.
So here’s to the new year! I hope 2014 brings you joy and all you set out to accomplish yourself. Have a safe & happy New Year’s Eve everyone!