NYE is a time for reflection: appreciating the good, honoring accomplishments, acknowledging struggles, rewarding hard work, and filling with hope for all the magic that lies ahead.
By Janeen Ellsworth
What a year it has been!
We started this journey of Reductionism together in May of this year, and it's been a wonderful trip! Thank you for being here with me--through every re-used plastic container, every high-quality air filter, every saved drop of water!
Ahhh, the memories... Want to take a waltz down memory lane with me? Check out this little picture movie of all we've achieved!
I'm thinking long and hard about what 2019 will look like and all the things we can make happen together!
But now is a time for focusing on good luck, and for doing all we can to bring it into our lives.
There are, of course, so many food traditions for taking care of that.
New Year's pretzels like these braided beauties, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, are thought to bring good luck to us because of their ring-like shape. Think of them as continuous cycles of goodness that recirculate through our lives all year long.
Back before I knew my way around active dry yeast, I used that bland frozen dough from the freezer section of the grocery store to make my pretzels. But given that my old part-time job in high school was being a certified pretzel roller at Auntie Anne's (seriously, I attended a weekend training workshop in Lancaster, PA, met Auntie Anne herself, and received a certificate!) I'm trying this copycat recipe of those delicious favorites this year!
And then I make split pea with ham soup because the green peas symbolize coins, i.e. wealth, which I need a whole bunch of! Ham or pork is considered lucky because pigs are known to 'root forward,' which is what I'm doing to bring prosperity in the new year. I use Emeril's recipe, and it's been a sure-fire hit every single time.
Of course there are black eyed peas that also signify coins; any leafy greens like kale, cabbage or collards that symbolize cash; and any variety of pig byproduct like kielbasa or bacon. Before we hit Pittsburgh's First Night celebration this evening, we'll be enjoying sauerkraut with kielbasa, seasoned blackeyed peas, ham & split pea soup, and kale chips along with our pretzels!
Beyond food, I love this holiday for making New Year's resolutions--which don't have to pin us down to unrealistic goals like losing 50 pounds. They're just about setting good intentions to start the year off on a positive note.
In 2019, I'm resolving to let less food go bad in my fridge--to use every scrap before it's too late, so that less goes in the trash.
How about you? What are your food traditions for this holiday, and what kind of resolutions are you contemplating? I'd love to know!
Enjoy every final moment of this wild and wondrous year while it lasts, and here's to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2019 for all!
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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