Search Makings and Musings

December 30, 2011


Hi all my lovelies!  I just wanted to take a moment to let you know my blogging plans for the new year.  I know I have posted a little sporadically as of late, between Christmas and my health issues it has been difficult.  This new year is a new day!  Read on to see my resolutions and to see what our traditions for New Year's we celebrate in my family!

The new year always means a few traditions in my home.  We make a few resolutions, and there are a few things we have picked up from the different places we have lived.  For instance, growing up my mother always made cabbage on New Year's.  It was purported to bring wealth in the new year.  According to, "Greens, usually cabbage, are associated with money and, thus, thought to bring good fortune. Eating cabbage probably worked its way into New Year lore because it is a late fall crop and the best way to preserve it for the winter was by turning it into sauerkraut. Brining cabbage typically takes six to eight weeks, and would be perfect to eat around New Year. Sauerkraut's long strands also symbolize long life."  This is a great recipe for cabbage, just the way my Mother always made it:

Fried Cabbage

2 teaspoons butter
1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth (I use veggie broth now that I am a Vegan)
1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Bring the butter and chicken broth to a boil in a large skillet. Reduce heat to low and add the cabbage. Cover and cook over low heat to steam the cabbage for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, or until cabbage is tender and sweet. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

When we moved to South Korea, courtesy of the US Army, we were delighted by the New Year's celebrations there!  There was a feeling of hope and optimism for the new year.  Large families gather together in their small apartments, or travel out to their relatives homes in the country.  So much so that the usually bustling city of Seoul became a virtual ghost town!  The traffic, which was always harrowing, became ridiculous as everyone headed out of town.  Lucky for us, not everyone left and we were treated to some wonderful dishes in a local Mom and Pop (Oma and Atachi) restaurant.  The traditional New Year's dish in S.Korea is called  "tduk guk", it is a savory rice cake soup.  Here is a recipe for it that I will be making this year:
Tduk Guk

1 (1 lb) package Korean duk (flat oval rice cakes)
6 cups broth (veggie in my case)
soy sauce 
pepper (to taste)
2 eggs, fried and sliced into thin strips
Dried seaweed sheets, cut into thin slices
2 scallions, chopped (optional garnish)

Soak rice cakes in cold water for about 20 minutes.
Bring broth to a boil.
Season to taste with soup soy sauce and black pepper.
Add rice cakes and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
Ladle into individual bowls and then add egg and seaweed strips and scallions.
If you are using store-bought broth, then mix 4 cups broth with 2 cups water and season with soup soy sauce.

Once I left Korea, I moved to Louisiana, again courtesy of Uncle Sam.  There we picked up the tradition of Hoppin' John.  In the South, eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day is thought to bring a prosperous year and good luck. The peas are symbolize coins, and a coin is sometimes added to the pot but I have never done this cause I worry someone will accidentally eat it!  Collard greens are usually served alongside the Hoppin' John.  The greens are the color of money and also symbolize wealth.  Here is a recipe:

Hoppin' John

1 pound smoked beef sausage, cut into bite-size pieces (or veggie sausage, or simply omit)
1 small onion, chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 (10.75 ounce) cans low sodium chicken stock (or veggie stock)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 cups uncooked instant rice

Place the sausage and onion into a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir until the sausage begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, water, and cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

So now you know what will be on our menu for New Year's!  What are your traditions for the New Year's meal?  Do you make resolutions?  I do.  So here are mine.
1) Post on my blog everyday except Sundays.
2) Lose some weight
3) Cook dinner at least 5 nights a week
4) Learn something new everyday
5) Finally get around to decorating my home the way I want it!

I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve, and remember, don't drink and drive!  
Love and Hugs!


  1. So glad someone else is keen on cabbage, it seems to have rather a bad press of late.

  2. Yes, that's so unfortunate. Its one of our favorites! Thanks for the comment sweetie!


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