I am typically not what you’d call the superstitious sort. I’m sure you know people who are … especially with a brand spankin’ new year about to explode like a red hot firecracker in a couple of days. Just for fun I did some research and found some interesting information about ways to ensure the coming year will be a very lucky one. If you’ve lived in the South long enough you may have noticed the grocery store shelves stocked up to the ceiling with cans of black-eyed peas this time of year. For as long as I can remember they have been a New Year’s staple in this part of the universe. The Frantz family … well … once a year we always heat a can of the obligatory peas up on the old stove top just to cover all our bases. Holding my nose, I attempt to ingest one bean a year … just for good luck. What can I say … they taste absolutely terrible. Do you know why they are supposed to be so lucky? Apparently, the shape of the pea is supposed to symbolize a coin and eating the “coins” symbolizes that you will be wealthy during the coming year. Sounds pretty lame to me. Personally, I’d rather eat a cookie. Now a cookie is shaped like a coin. Give me a chocolate chip … oatmeal with raisins … anything but a sad brown pea with a black eye. Now I understand it is perfectly acceptable if you desire some extra good luck next year to throw in some pork and collard greens with a side of cornbread with your black-eyed peas. And it would probably make the peas with a black eye taste a heck of a lot better too. Now apparently, there is a saying that goes something like … peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold. And why the pork? I’ll clue you in on old porky a tad later. Did you know that it is also good luck to eat grapes as the clock strikes midnight? Not sure where this one came from but you gotta eat 12 grapes … raisins are an acceptable alternative … while the clock is bonging midnight. It is supposed to bring good luck for all 12 months of the coming year. But ya gotta finish the grapes before the final stroke or it doesn’t work. So be careful not to choke. Sorry about all the strict edicts with the grapes. Oh, and they have to be sweet grapes … skip the tart ones. As you might expect there is absolutely no good luck involved in sour grapes. OK, here’s where the pork comes in. Some people believe that pigs are a symbol of prosperity because of their tubbiness. Others say that pigs symbolize progress because they always root around in a forward motion while looking for food. That leads me to a word of caution about fowl such as turkey and chickens. They are bad luck. Don’t eat ‘em on New Year’s Day. That is because fowl scratch backward … while searching for their food … and who wants to have to “scratch for a living?” There are also cultures that believe anything edible in the shape of a ring is good luck because it symbolizes “coming full circle.” The Dutch, of which I am one-half, believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring the best of luck. This one is my favorite. Geez, and I haven’t eaten one for nearly 10 years. It seems like a most excellent reason to run down to your nearest Shipley’s or Duncan Donuts in a few days. Just remember to postpone that weight loss resolution until Jan. 2. One more and I promise to stop. I can see your head is about to explode with all the trivia. Did you know that eating very long noodles on New Year’s will ensure a long life? This one comes from Japan, and if you really want to get specific, they have to be buckwheat soba noodles. Oh, and you have to slurp the noodle up into your mouth without breaking it. Personally, I think I’ll stick with the donuts. Yep … I’m not the least bit superstitious. While it is not exactly what you would call a well-balanced New Year’s Day menu, the Frantz family is not taking any chances. We’ll be popping grapes at midnight, ingesting donuts for breakfast, eating black-eyed peas for lunch and barbequing pork for dinner … just to cover all the bases. Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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