Families cook up New Year's Day tradition

BILOXI (WLOX) -  Rosemary Eicher hosted her very first New Year's Day feast on Thursday. She invited about a dozen friends over for dinner. On the menu -- a roast, veggies, corn bread, and of course, a New Year's tradition.

"We always had our cabbage and black-eyed peas, because the cabbage is for money for the new year and the black eyed peas are for good luck," said Eicher.

When asked if she believes in that, Eicher answered "Well, I think it's a nice thing to do. A nice tradition to keep up. Maybe it does come true."

Wishes for a luckier 2009 were also brimming at Skeeter's in Gulfport. As a lunch special, the restaurant served up plates of steaming cabbage, rice, and black-eyed peas.

"Something we started this year. We've done it at my mother's and grandmother's," said the restaurant owner Ricky Dombrowski. "You're supposed to have bad luck if you don't. That's why you have to eat it. When I was growing up, I didn't like cabbage, but now I like it."

Even if you don't like the taste, it's worth a try in case the dishes do bring good fortune, prosperity, and hope for better days ahead.

"Definitely will always have my cabbage and my black-eyed peas on New Year's," said Eicher. "It depends on what I'm doing.  Cook it myself or eat out."