Traditions, traditions, are what we are made of. In our house on each New Year’s Day, Mother said, “We must have cabbage so we will have money for the New Year.” Have cabbage we did, usually steamed. Cabbage chaperoned with hard work, sweat, and tears did afford us a comfortable living for the coming forth of each New Year.
As a child, I never really liked cabbage, but, I managed to eat a bite or two so I too could be a part of the money clutch. During the year, I sold raspberries for $1 a quart…enough to buy me a $4 green dress, and pears for $1 (four quarters) a bushel. That was fair trade in that day.
Mother never put quarters or money in with her cabbage as some mother’s tradition. According to search on the Internet, many different traditions for the New Year reach back into ancient times, such as serving black eyed peas, giving gifts, and the first to set their foot inside the house after midnight, (naming only a few) have been observed to ensure good luck. However, prescribed cabbage emerged above them all in our family,
Am I carrying on my mother’s tradition? Certainly. Why? My mother did it. I know all good things come from God, nevertheless my cabbage is waiting in the frig for the first day of the New Year.
Here is a recipe for “Beef Cabbage Soup” by Marilyn Weaver published in the Point Pleasant Writers Guild’s book Recipes and Remembrances.
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped
½ large head of cabbage, chopped
1 large can Kidney Beans
4 cups of beef broth
1-quart tomato juice or V8 Juice
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. basil
Brown ground beef with onions until meat is no longer pink. Drain, and put in large soup pot. Add rest of ingredients and cook until cabbage is done, approx. half hour (or to your liking).
Weaver added, “My husband has liked chili all of his life, but since tasting Beef Cabbage Soup, he would rather have it than chili.”
Marilyn Weaver and Patrecia Gray are members of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild.