I have German ancestry on both sides of my family. Eating pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day was one of the few traditions that had been carried on from previous generations. They say it brings good luck. I doubt my parents really believed that but, well, tradition is tradition and I suppose they weren't going to risk being unlucky.
Usually my mother made us eat a little of everything she fixed: 5 peas, 2 lima beans, a taste of any other unpalatable food on the table. The only exceptions were liver and onions, the oysters in oyster stew, sauerkraut. And tomatoes.
You'd think it would be in my genes to love pork and sauerkraut. Maybe the German genes were diluted by the time they got to me because I don't love sauerkraut. (I inherited chocolate-loving genes instead.) In fact, it's only been in recent years that I can stand the smell of sauerkraut and then only on a Reuben sandwich.
About the luck part. I didn't think it brought good luck, either, but at dinner tonight, eating my pork sans sauerkraut, I was thinking about all the little and large mishaps of my childhood and youth -- the broken front tooth; the foot caught in a bicycle wheel; the broken blackboard; the foot swollen to twice its size after slamming into a wall; the semi rear-ending me at the bottom of a mile-long hill while I was stopped to make a left turn; etc. And now I'm wondering if there is something to the tradition of pork and sauerkraut bringing good luck in the new year.
Maybe next year I'll eat sauerkraut along with the pork.
How about you? Do you have New Year's Day traditions?
The photo above is courtesy of Michael Dietsch at Flickr Commons.