When I was growing up, I always thought that we ate black-eyed peas and turnip greens on New Year’s Day because that’s what Meema and Grandad ate on New Year’s Day 1934, their first day together as husband and wife. I thought it was all they had to eat because of it being the Great Depression and that’s just what people had to eat that they’d preserved from their gardens.

Now that I know it’s a tradition for people throughout the South to eat this on New Year’s Day to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year, I’m not so sure that I had the story right.

Do you have a meal that your family traditionally eats on New Year’s Day? We eat black-eyed peas, turnip greens, fried potatoes and cornbread.