We’ve had a whirlwind of activity this holiday season, and ended 2014 with a fun party with friends on the dance floor, where we all marveled at Thomas’s break dance moves, that involved spins and squats and air punches, and I have no idea where he could have picked these up, so I can only assume it’s pure, raw, creative choreography talent and he will probably be an entertainer, like his daddy, who also has enthusiastic dance moves that included his signature split in his 20s. This split was a crowd favorite at weddings and dance parties, and certainly one of the ways Will stole my heart, but leaping in the air and landing on one knee with the other leg sticking out had to be abandoned in his 30s. Thomas, at the age of 4, is much more agile and can handle quick drops to the dance floor and popping back up.
We started the New Year with the always fantastic “Collard Bowl” with friends to eat collards and hoppin’ john, a dish that has a combination of black eyed peas, rice, and pork, for good luck. According to History.com, Hoppin’ John originated in the Low Country of South Carolina in the late 1840s, and there are varying theories on the source of the name. Some say it was named after an actual man nicknamed Hoppin’ John who sold peas and rice on the streets of Charleston and others say it’s the kids jumping for the dish. Hoppin’ John is eaten with collards, which represent money, and the peas represent coins. In the south, according to About.com, cabbage is a substitute in other areas for collard greens, and it’s also tradition to include corn bread, which represents spending money, but most likely, it’s because corn bread is delicious and goes with everything. (especially deluxe corn bread!)
Just to make sure we covered all superstitions, we had it all on New Year’s Day: cornbread, pork, cabbage, collard greens, and Hoppin’ John. Coins were hidden in the cabbage at dinnertime. They were wrapped in foil so they weren’t exactly hidden, so the luck of getting good luck was obvious and also the chances of biting down on a coin and chipping a tooth were minimized, and we all got good luck and our teeth remained intact for the new year.
Thomas thought this was especially fun, and discovered his coin under the cabbage on his dinner plate, with a happy gasp to show us all. The magic of childhood.
Happy New Year! Cheers to 2015, and may it bring you luck, prosperity, cash, coins and spending money. We are especially excited for this year, since we’ll be growing our family with a baby girl. (and we’ll need all of the coins we can collect for that adventure!)