I know I went off about Christmas so this will now sound like I'm a bitter Holiday hater. I really do enjoy parts of the Holidays, especially the food parts. That being said New Year's Eve is only second Valentines day to a holiday that I find disappointing. Its probably just me but I have never really enjoyed New Year's Eve unless I was bartending and making money. So much build up for 30 seconds of excitement.
Being a bartender I witnessed so many New Year's Eve moments. The usual scenarios all start the same way - drinking way too much. Most revelers start early in the day and thus starts the spiral down till midnight. The whole day seems to be focused on finding the best way to celebrate. All this pressure to find the greatest way to ring in the New Year. Everyone one is amped up and the drinks are flowing. When you witness this from the other side of the bar you see the true reactions.
Here it is 11:59 and everyone is at their peak of excitement, grabbing their drinks trying to find that person they need to kiss. 5,4,3,2,1… Yah!!! Then it's over, that's it. As I would watch from the bar I would see the look of “What do I do now?” pass across peoples faces. As the excitement fades faster and faster the reality sets in.
There are many varieties of the New Years face. The holy crap I am way drunker than I thought face. This usually leads to a run for the bathroom but not make it face. The “I just kissed my crush and got no response face”. The “Do I still really want to be with this person face”. The “How the hell am I getting home face”. There are many more but the one that always got to me is “The what the hell am I doing with my life face”.
When you're a bartender sometimes it's like watching a play in real life. I vividly remember scanning the room and certain people would catch my eye. They would have this face of joy as everyone celebrated the New Year countdown. Once it was over you could see all the self-doubts setting in. It was like watching all these people so excited made then immediately reflect on themselves. Of course, being drunk I am sure doesn’t help. I guess this sadness stuck with me and put a damper on the holiday for me. Spending New Year's Eve with my family has made it more enjoyable and I think that's mainly because we spend the whole time talking about what we are eating the next day.
Even though I have labeled New Year's Eve the most disappointing holiday, New Year's Day is a whole different matter. I love New Year's day. It is a day with very little pressure and lots of good food. I find its the one holiday that less is required from everyone. It's usually a smaller and more laid back day. Friends and family don’t feel the pressure to have to participate. New Year's day is like that friend that is especially easy going and is fine with going with the flow, it's like the cool kid of Holidays.
The only thing required here on New Years day is the food. The three components that represent Good Luck in the coming year is Peas, Greens and Pork. Typically in Louisiana its Black-eyed Peas, collard greens or cabbage and ham. A lot of families change this up. We typically choose a pork roast over ham and prefer cabbage to collards but we never waiver on the black-eyed peas. This recipe is my way of getting them all in one dish for some little New Year's “Good Luck” packages to send you into the New Year. I serve mine with cornbread. I love cornbread from scratch but my heart will always belong to Jiffy cornbread till the day I die. Just can’t beat that jiffy. Happy New Year everyone!