What are your New Year’s Traditions? I only have a few. The first is to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day. The sauerkraut will have a shiny dime hidden in it, and whoever finds it is assured of good fortune throughout the New Year. I will sing “Auld Lang Syne” and watch the Tournament of Roses Parade. I may even sneak a peek of the rose Bowl, considering the local boys, the Buckeyes will be playing…If nothing better is on the tube, that is.
While Southerners, like myself, eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day, I have never been able to stand them, so I’ll go with the Germans on New Years. Italians serve lentils, which I like, but in Ohio the most popular way to ring in the new year is by stinking up the kitchen with a steaming pot of sauerkraut and pork.
There are several of reasons why sauerkraut and pork is considered the traditional New Year’s dinner here. Most of them are tied to folklore or ethnic traditions — all of which claim that eating sauerkraut (or cabbage) and pork will bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.
A Pennsylvania Dutch tradition says that it’s good luck to eat pork for the new year because pigs forage forward for their food and don’t look back. i can get behind that.
Don’t know where the idea to put the dime into the pot came from, but it is a tradition I remember from my childhood, so I will carry it forward once again. Truthfully, I can use all the luck I can muster this year.
PORK & KRAUT:
2 or 3 lb. boneless pork roast sprinkled with salt & pepper
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 jar sauerkraut with juice
4-6 potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
Season and brown the pork roast in oil. Put in oven proof pan. Pour in one jar of sauerkraut and hide the dime in the sauerkraut. Sprinkle brown sugar over kraut. Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes to pan, tossing with pan juices, cover and bake an additional 1-11/2 hours.