• Well, once again another year has come and gone, and a new year has begun unfolding. Maybe your family has a tradition for ushering in the start of the next calendar. I know my family does. In Alabama, you’re supposed to eat greens, black-eyed peas, and hog jowl (this last one is both a soul food southern delicacy as well as a vegan nightmare). You eat these things in the hopes that they will bring you money, luck, and health in the coming year. I haven’t the faintest idea why, or why the South holds such a tradition. Nor do I know how the tradition started. But you can bet your boots that I was eating greens (not my favorite), black-eyed peas (okay, these I love, I’ll admit), and hog jowl (which is a bit too crunchy for me) on New Year’s Day. And maybe it really is a silly practice, but had I not been able to partake in it, I would have felt like something was missing.

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