In the southern United States, it is believed eating black eyed peas on New Year's eve will bring luck for the coming year. Also from the South comes the custom of eating greens such as cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money. One more from the Southerners: eating cornbread will bring wealth.

Overnight Pork Loin & Sauerkraut

(A really helpful recipe because you can put the casserole in the over in the wee small hours of the morning, and it's ready for your New Year's Day dinner!)

2 lb. lean pork loin, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 lb. sauerkraut
2 c. onions, sliced
6 slices bacon, cut in half
3 c. water

Brown pork in large skillet; set aside. Place 1 lb. sauerkraut in a 2-qt. casserole. Cover with 1 c. onions and the pork. Top with remaining oninos and sauerkraut. Top with bacon. Pour water over all and bake (uncovered) at 300-degrees for 7 to 8 hours.

Spareribs with Sauerkraut

2 lbs bone-in pork spareribs (about 1/2 lb per person)
1 (28 oz) can of sauerkraut
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup apple juice
Salt and pepper

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the ribs. Put ribs, sauerkraut, onion and juice into a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the ribs. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until the meat falls off of the bones, anywhere from one to two hours. Remove bones. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with boiled potatoes. Delicious with ketchup which creates a sweet contrast to the sour sauerkraut. Serves four.

Sauerkraut and Pork

1 (4 lb.) pork loin roast
2 bags sauerkraut
4 medium apples, pared and chopped coarsely
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. black pepper (for pork)
1 lb. pkg. wide noodles
1 large carton sour cream

Roast pork with pepper at 325 degrees for 40 minutes for each pound of pork. Keep warm in covered pan. Mix sauerkraut, apples, onion and brown sugar. Bake in oven for 35 minutes for 325 degrees. Boil noodles until tender. Add to sauerkraut. Bake 10 minutes longer.

Slice roast and place on plate. Stir carton of sour cream in sauerkraut and noodles then serve, making a ring of kraut and noodles around pork slices.

Collard Greens with Ham Hocks

1 lb. fresh collard greens
4 smoked ham hocks
Crushed red pepper
Hot sauce
Salt & pepper

Cut and thoroughly wash greens. Place in large stock pot with ham hocks, crushed red pepper and enough water to cover. Simmer over medium flame for about two hours (until greens are tender).

Remove from flame and add salt, pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Serve with sliced red onion for garnish. Serves 4.

Reuben Sandwich


2 T. butter, softened
8 slices rye bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
3/4 lb corned beef brisket, thinly sliced
1/2 lb sauerkraut
1/4 c. Russian Dressing

Russian Dressing:

1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 T. ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the dressing ingredients. Makes one-half cup.

Butter one side of four slices of bread, and place the slices buttered-side down on a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Top each with a slice of Swiss cheese, and then divide half of the corned beef among them.

Divide the sauerkraut among the sandwiches, and top each with one tablespoon of Russian dressing. Add another layer of corned beef and a second slice of Swiss cheese to each sandwich. Top with the remaining bread slices; butter the side facing out.

Preheat a griddle or frying pan to medium heat. Cook the sandwiches on one side until the bread is golden brown. Use a spatula to carefully flip the sandwiches over and finish cooking on the second side. Cut the sandwiches in half before serving. Make 4 sandwiches.

Hoppin' John I

(A New Year's traditional stew in the South)

1 c. black-eyed peas
6 c. water
6 slices bacn, crumbled
4 c. water
3/4 c. onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chpped
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 c. long-grain rice

Rinse peas and put into a large saucepan with 6 c. water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover; let stand 1 hour.

Drain and rinse. In same pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 3 T. pan drippings. Add peas, 4 T. water, onion, celery, salt & red pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes.

Add uncooked rice; cover and simmer 20 minutes longer until peas and rice are tender.

Hoppin' John II

1 T. olive oil
l large ham hock
1 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1 T. chopped garlic
1 lb. black-eye peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
Bay leaf
1 tsp. dry thyme leaves
Salt, pepper, and cayenne
3 T. finely chopped green onion
3 c. rice

Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eye peas, stock, bay leaf, thyme and seasonings. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until peas are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over steamed white rice or long-grain white rice.

Black Eyed Peas

4 slices bacon, fried crisp & crumbled (save drippings)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 c. chopped celery
1 can Rotel
2 (16 oz. each) cans black-eyed peas
2 tsp. sugar
1 Bay leaf

Saute onion, green pepper and celery in bacon drippings until tender.

Stir in Rotel, peas, sugar, salt, bay leaf and half the crumbled bacon. Cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water if necessary. Remove bay leaf and sprinkle with remaining bacon just before serving.


Coquito is a holiday tradition much like Eggnog in the United States. Homemade coquito is served to visitors throughout the extended Christmas holidays celebrated in Puerto Rico and throughout much of the Caribbean. It is also a frequent Christmas present. While Coquito has gradually become an "adult" drink with liquor, a tasty and nutritious drink can be prepared without liquor (which may be added later on to please some of the adult tastes).

2 cans of coconut cream
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 quart regular milk
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Ground cinammon

Blend egg yolks and condensed milk. Gradually add and blend in all remaining ingredients. Refrigerate.

Serve very cold, preferably without ice in small cups. Sprinkle ground cinammon on top. Sip and enjoy.

A more conservative approach is not to include egg yolks. Try it both ways to determine your preference.

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