O.K., ya’ll. I think I’m all set for 2010. I put the coins outside on the front porch New Year’s Eve and brought them in this morning. That’s the first piece of good luck.  This afternoon, I put on the greens, black-eyed peas and ham hock.  The greens symbolize wealth (of which we are slightly short of at the moment), the black-eyed peas symbolize luck and the ham is so we will eat high off the hog during 2010. I was shocked to find out that people all over the country neglect this vital beginning to the new year.

You start off with the ham hock, one that’s been cured. I got mine at the farmer’s market last Saturday. I know some of you are going to say you don’t have access to ham hocks, but go looking. You’ll find one. Then you take three good bunches of greens – collard, mustard, turnip, even spinach. You pick. I love turnip greens so that’s what I used this year. Be sure to wash them. They like to play in the mud.

Put about four cups of chicken stock in a pot over medium low heat. You can buy the stock, but I make my own. You should, too. You just save up your chicken carcasses and then store the stock in the freezer. Add the greens, cut-up ham hock and black-eyed peas to the stock. Don’t salt. The ham hock is salty enough. This is what it looks like when you start.

And this is what it looks like when you stop. It takes a few hours, but that’s why you do this New Year’s Day so you can watch football while you’re waiting for the greens to get done. I was talking to my friend, Stacy, this afternoon and told her about this New Year’s Day tradition. She was intrigued. She’d never heard of this. She’s from Chicago, so I don’t need to say any more about that.

I am trying to raise Noah up right. I have told him he doesn’t have to make exactly what I make on New Year’s Day, but he must always eat some kind of greens, black-eyed peas and some kind of pork or I don’t even want to contemplate what will happen. 

I’m not superstitious about most things, but I have not woken up on a New Year’s Day in I can’t remember when without the makings for greens. I always make cornbread sticks to sop up the pot likker, which is probably the best part.

As I’m writing this, I’m looking out the office window at a full moon. That’s a good sign. 2009 was a difficult year. People lost their jobs. They lost their houses. They lost hope. But, for the most part, we’re all still vertical and there’s a new year in front of us. We said a prayer before supper to make the most of it. And we will.


  1. Terrell Jones
    Terrell JonesReply
    January 2, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Great article and excellent info. Had never heard about money on front porch we always put it in the greens. My favorite is a mixture of the turnip greens & mustard greens. I do not remember ever having ham but we always had some kind of pork fried of course. Lots of time it was cold enough to kill hogs and we had tender loin. If was really lucky brains & eggs scrambled together & fried of course.

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      January 2, 2010 at 11:45 pm

      Your recipe for the fried pork fat would be spectacular with greens!

Leave a Reply

Your message*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


What is 15 + 15 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)