Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year's Day

I love traditions. Especially traditions around a holiday. Something my family has always done is eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. What I have been told is the amount of sauerkraut you eat is directly proportional to your prosperity in the coming year.

I decided to look into this a little more. Turns out it is a German/Pennsylvania Dutch practice to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. Pigs (pork) do not look behind them and get their food by rooting forward. As opposed to chickens that scratch backwards to get their food. Eat chicken on New Year's Day and move backwards the rest of the year? Apparently so. Pigs symbolize moving forward and chickens, moving backward.

As for the sauerkraut... cabbages are ready to pick in Octobers. So if you make your sauerkraut in October, like we did, then after six to eight weeks of brining, it's ready to eat by New Years. And it tastes good with pork. And mashed potatoes. And dumplings.

Technically from what I read Germans eat the sauerkraut on New Year's Eve and wish each other as much money and luck in the coming year as there are shreds of cabbage in the kraut. Not sure where my family got the idea you had to eat all that sauerkraut to seal the deal but luckily it's tasty so that isn't a problem.