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The Start to the New Year

by Janet Carson January 3, 2020 at 1:44 p.m.

I rang in the New Year playing games with my husband and children and was up until the wee hours after a fabulous dinner earlier in the evening. We ate our pickled herring at the stroke of midnight for good luck.

I have been doing it for at least 59 years (not sure if I did it before I turned 2), and have been pretty lucky, so why mess with success. A more disgusting fish I am sure is not on the planet, but we suffer through. Even the dogs don't care for it! After such a busy day and late night, I thought perhaps I would sleep in, but that built in clock inside me had me awake by 6 a.m. and I did have a lot of cleaning up and washing dishes to do from the night before, so no time like the present. Kyle and I handled the dishes, I did my glasses and silver, washed all the tablecloths and napkins, and Clay and kids moved furniture. By 4 p.m. the house was back to normal, dishes put up and it was time to start our New Year's good luck dinner!

I made 50 eggrolls.

The Biermann side of our family has always eaten pork and cabbage on January 1, while the Carson side did pork and black-eyed peas.

(The pickled herring was another thing from my side of the family). My kids are not big on cooked cabbage, nor black-eyed peas so about 15 years or so ago, I started making a family favorite--eggrolls, which have pork and cabbage in them, and simply adding some black-eyed peas and a few pieces of herring into the filling when I am cutting up the onions and veggies in the food processor. It all gets mixed in and the end result is delicious and lucky! When they were younger, I didn't tell them I added in the peas and herring, but now they know and are all the luckier because of it!

Making homemade egg rolls is not difficult, but it is time-consuming. First you have to make the filling, then cool it, then roll the egg rolls, then fry them. I have made more than 100 in a day and usually do Asian nachos too, but I drew the line this year and said only 50 egg rolls and no nachos (until the next night). By the time everyone had eaten their fill, my kitchen was pretty much a mess again.

I cleaned up, started the dishwasher and went to bed.

I think it is always interesting to see what traditions different families carry on when it comes to holidays. I think New Years probably has the most superstitions surrounding it, with a variety of foods to be eaten and activities to do or avoid. Besides what my family eats, I have friends that eat various forms of greens for money in the new year and others eat rice. We used to hold silver at the stroke of midnight and we would kiss all family members at midnight, which was supposed to give you good luck with money and love. Making noise at midnight and shouting outside is supposed to let the evil spirits out of your house, and scare them away with the noise.

One tradition I had never heard before was not to do laundry on January 1. Well, too bad, I had lots of linens that needed cleaning. I also heard, after I had spent the day cleaning, that any form of cleaning on new years day meant you were cleaning away good luck, and/or whatever you did on the 1st day of the year was a portent of what you would do the rest of the year. I sure hope that is NOT the case, since I hate cleaning, and I definitely don't want to think I ate that pickled herring for nothing!

Happy 2020! I have also been saying we are entering a new decade, and I found out I am wrong about that too. A new decade starts in year 1, not year 0 so we don't start a new decade until next January 1, 2021. Regardless, I am hoping for a wonderful year full of love and laughter for everyone!


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