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Sunday, January 1, 2017

The "The Tradition Continues" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Making sure the table is set for six for New Year's day dinner.  Our two sons, daughter-in-law and grandson will be joining Carol and me for sauerkraut and pork, our New Year's traditional meal.  Don't think I could survive the entire year if I didn't have sauerkraut and pork on New Year's Day.  There are usually half-a-dozen churches and maybe the same amount of fire companies or clubs that serve the meal on New Year's Day in and around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Our daughter lives in Urbana, Maryland and still makes sure her family eats some sauerkraut and pork on January 1.  After all, it brings you luck and heavens knows Carol and I need some good luck after the atrocious year we just lived through (another story about that to come soon).  
Sauerkraut on mashed potatoes with roast pork are a
necessity on the table on New Year's Day.  Only thing
missing here is the side of applesauce and a hot dog or two.
The combination of sauerkraut, pork, mashed potatoes and applesauce have become customary in LDub's family home  since it was first started in 1967.  I must admit that Carol adds a few pork hot dogs since they taste fantastic when roasted in the oven with the sauerkraut and pork.  So why do Lancasterians eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day?  Well, first of all the old adage says that "pigs root forward into the future" which symbolizes future progress and sauerkraut is a German and Pennsylvania Dutch tradition and since Lancaster is heavily populated with Amish and German Mennonites who settled in Lancaster County in the 18th and 19th centuries, it is only common sense that we eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day.  Other parts of the country have traditions just the same as Lancaster County does.  In Spain and some Latin American countries it is considered lucky to eat one grape for each strike of the clock on New Year's Eve.  Great way to push the sale of grapes in the country.  In Denmark the scales on fish are said to represent coins so to gain wealth means to eat fish on New Year's Day.  In Greece the Greek Orthodox tradition is to have a New Year's Day cake with a coin baked into it.  The person who gets the coin will be prosperous during the year.  The Dutch have a tradition of making molded sweet cookies that feature the shape of an eagle or famous person in the mold.  On New Year's Eve in Japan, eating Soba noodles, made with buckwheat flour, will bring you long life.  And, in many of the Southern states in the USA it is the tradition to eat Hoppin' John on New Year's Day to bring prosperity to the family.  Hoppin' John is a dish brought to the south by West African slaves and is made with rice, black-eyed peas and a meat such as ham, pork or bacon.  I could go on and on, but I suspect I may miss you traditional New Year's Eve or Day traditional meal so I will stop at this point.  Just hope you eat something that will make you healthy, wealthy and wise.  That's my objective for the year.  So, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.   


  1. Hi Larry
    I was just telling Dee the other day about
    sauerkraut and pork on New year's Day. grew up with that tradition. Haven't had it in years though.

  2. I've never seen it offered at any restaurant we ever visited on either side of SXM. Have a good New Year!