As I write, there is a slab of pork ribs a-cookin' in the oven. I have black beans ready to cook at the two-hour warning mark before the ribs are done. If I can find my way to the grocery yet this afternoon, I will probably seek out and purchase some greens to accompany dinner as well.
Why all the specifics?
I have bought into the "tradition" of consuming certain foods on New Year's Day to yield good luck in the coming year. At this point, I figured it most definitely couldn't hurt. See... last year? While we did have some pretty awesome celebrations and high points as chronicled here, there were certainly a fair share (and then some!) of challenges. We were dragged kicking and screaming into legal proceedings that could have very well redefined the word "ridiculous." I never spoke of it, but it spanned from November 2008 through December 2009. Good times. The other mentionable challenge was being laid off from my part-time writing gig at a local magazine in mid-July. Are you keeping score here? That's one part legal drama (read: outrageous attorney fees) and one part job loss (read: significant drop in income). Add that to a family of seven that became a family of eight... well, YOU do the math. It isn't rocket science--there have been some tough times over the past 12 months. Jeff and I continue to master the art of creative budgeting, with a fierce determination to make things work. We have to. There is no other option.
So. Here we are, perched on the high branch of a bright, shiny new year. I all but told 2009 to kiss my ass, as we collectively shooed it out the door last night. I was nearly tearful with hope at the stroke of midnight, knowing I can put the challenges of last year behind us, and look ahead to a new year. One without blemish or dark clouds ... a year with unknown promise. After reading a light-hearted article about the traditional good luck foods usually eaten at the new year, I immediately signed up. I grabbed the first pork product I could find in the freezer, and dug a nearly-forgotten bag of black beans out of the pantry. I am going to fight bad luck from the get-go this year. Two foods that are all but forbidden today are lobster and chicken. Lobster because of their backward movement underwater, and chicken because of they scratch backward in the dirt. I caught Jeff reaching for a leftover container filled with chicken and noodles earlier, and just about jumped out of my skin. "Don't even touch it," I begged. "I don't want to tempt fate."
I'm usually not all that superstitious, but just for today... I'm ALL.ABOUT. IT.