Our New Year’s Tradition: Good Food and Good Times with Family

My absolute favorite way to ring in the New Year is to spend New Year’s Day with my in-laws. Every January 1, we go to their home for good company and good food.

A Carefully Chose New Year’s Menu

My mother and father-in-law have a menu carefully chosen to bring our family luck and prosperity for the new year. Their tradition has been ongoing for almost 20 years and was inspired by the southern heritage of black-eyed peas, ham hocks, cabbage, and collard greens

We feast on black-eyed peas over rice to bring luck and peace for the new year. These go with the collard greens and cabbage, which represent prosperity from the green color symbolizing money. Pork is selected because pigs always root forward when eating.

You can find many New Year’s inspired recipes online but I wanted to share the recipe I enjoy eating every year that includes cabbage and pork— Kapusniak! I was never a cabbage or sauerkraut fan until having this!

Give it a try and have a Happy New Year!

Kapusniak Recipe

  • ½ pound pork, cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 lb sauerkraut
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ lb smoked sausage cut into small pieces
  • ½ t caraway seed
  • ½ t dill seed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 T flour
  • 4 slices bacon, slice then fried
  • 4 T bacon drippings

Heat 2 T bacon drippings in a heavy frying pan and brown pork. Add chopped vegetables, cover, and cook on low for one hour. Add in drained sauerkraut and chicken broth. Add sausage and seasonings, cook for 30 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 T bacon drippings and add flour and brown lightly. Mix with a little broth and add to soup. Stir and cook until it thickens. Fry bacon and crumble, use as a garnish on soup, or add-in and stir.


Megan, an Iowa native from West Branch, shares her home with husband Cody, their three kids (Charlie-8 Gwen-6 & Ben-2) and 2 dogs (Dottie- lab-basset mix & Ham-all basset). When she is not smooching on them she is trying to change lives as a social worker, taking walks around their Iowa City neighborhood or cruising in Rita her minivan looking to score deals at local thrift stores. Check our her finds on her Instagram page @megthethriftingqueen.


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