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Traditional New Years Recipes

Updated on December 29, 2007
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

Image:(c)Marye Audet 2007
Image:(c)Marye Audet 2007

Lucky Rings

Many cultures believe that the ring, a symbol of eternity, brings luck on New Year's Day. The Dutch believe that eating a doughnut on New Years Day will bring luck. While that may or may not be true, starting the day with these homemade doughnuts should at least make your family feel lucky!

Gingerbread Doughnuts

1/2 c dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 egg beaten

1/2 c molasses

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 -3 c flour

Combine all ingredients except flour. Stir well. Add just enough flour to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and is firm enough to shape. Roll out lightly on a well floured counter and cut with a doughnut cutter dipped in flour. Fry in deep hot fat, 360 degrees, turning once. Drain on paper towel or brown paper bags. Fry them 3-4 at a time, depending on the size of your fryer. The doughnuts will be dark brown because of the molasses. Repeat with all of the dough, and then fry the doughnut holes. About 18-24 depending on size of cutter

Lemon Glaze:

1 c confectioners sugar

1 TBS cream

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground lemon peel (or sprinkle glazed doughnuts with grated fresh peel.)

mix together until smooth. Glaze doughnuts while warm.

A Southern Recipe For Prosperity

In the American South on New Years Day the traditional Menu includes black eyed peas, ham, greens, and corn bread. The motto is," eat poor on New Year's and eat fat the rest of the year!".

The greens represent the green of money, while the black eyed peas bring wealth because they represent the coins. Here is a recipe for a prosperous New Year. Everything but the cornbread is included in the soup, just serve the cornbread along side.

Ham & Black-eyed Pea Soup with Greens

In a large saucepan heat and cook until tender:

1/4 c olive oil

4 medium onions chopped

5 garlic cloves chopped


2 pounds collard greens, stems removed and leaves finely chopped

8 cups organic chicken stock

8 cups water

2 small finely minced JalapeƱo peppers

1 Ham bone

the meat removed from the bone (approx.3/4 to 1 cup)

Simmer until greens are tender, about 20 minutes

Meanwhile, rinse and drain:

4 16-ounce cans black-eyed peas Mash half of them to thicken the soup and add all to the soup mixture.

Add: 4 cans organic diced tomatoes

Simmer 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper

Stir in: 1 tbs cider vinegar dash of hot sauce

Makes about 8 main course servings.

Vaselopita: Greek Cake

In Greece they make a cake, with money hidden inside, to be eaten on New Year's Day. whoever finds the money will be lucky in the New Year, unless of course they break a tooth on the coin...


1 c organic unsalted butter

2 c sugar

3 c unbleached flour

6 organic eggs

2 tsp baking powder

1 c lukewarm milk

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 Tbs lemon juice

1/4 c blanched slivered almonds

Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease a 10 inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light.

Stir in the flour and mix.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Combine the baking powder and milk, add to the egg mixture, mixing well.

Combine the lemon juice and baking soda, stir into the batter.

Pour into the prepared cake pan. Push a quarter into the batter, hiding it.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove and sprinkle the nuts and sugar over the cake, then return it to the oven for 20 to 30 additional minutes, until cake springs back to the touch.

Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate.

Serve cake warm. Each person in the family gets a slice starting with the youngest person there.Whoever gets the quarter in their piece, gets good luck for the whole year.

Good Food...Good Friends

Getting together with friends and family to celebrate a time of new beginnings is the best tradition of all. May you have a blessed and prosperous New Year!


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    • anne_with_an_e profile image

      anne_with_an_e 7 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      I can't wait for New Year's to try these out!

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

      Thanks, Marye, for that Dutch belief, and the followup recipe.

      And "eat poor on New Year's and eat fat the rest of the year!" That's a new saying for me, thanks!

    • jaymz profile image

      jaymz 10 years ago from USA

      The picture of the gingerbread doughnut looks pretty good.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 10 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      hmm...yes I am sure you can..just substitute sugar or brown sugar for the molasses.Just use 1/2 again as instead of 1/2 c molasses it would be 3/4 c brown sugar.

    • Rapidwriter profile image

      Rapidwriter 10 years ago from UK

      Thanks, Marye. You are a genius! I used to have a recipe for doughnuts back in time without yeast and this is the first time I've found one again. I'm going to make this asap - but one question. Can I use sugar instead of molasses? And how much?

    • gabriella05 profile image

      gabriella05 10 years ago from Oldham

      I think That I will follow Lela with the black pea soup, sounds good

      Thanks for sharing

    • Lela Davidson profile image

      Lela Davidson 10 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

      Hey great idea! I think I'll made the black eyed pea soup this year. I've never done that. And thanks for the great reading suggestions too!

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      Copied for breakfast after Christmas

      Thank you

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 10 years ago from Portugal

      I really have to stop reading hubs like this one :)), after reading them I have this urge for searching around my fridge!

      Great hub, great recipes!