Every country and culture has its own traditions about what to eat on New Year’s Day in order to bring them luck. We have gathered the top ten International food dishes that are considered both delicious and lucky!
1) Hoppin’ John. This traditional New Year’s dish of the American South consists of black eyed peas cooked with bacon and served over white rice. No self-respecting Southerner would dream of starting out the New Year without a heaping plate of this for breakfast. Just have the Beano ready . . .
2) Mango with sticky rice. In Thailand the New Year doesn’t actually begin until April, when the farmers traditionally begin flooding their rice fields to plant their first crop of the year. Mangoes ripen the same month, and there are vendors everywhere selling sliced mango with a lump of sticky rice on the side, all covered by sweet coconut syrup – the whole thing served on a fresh banana leaf. If you share the dish with your boyfriend/girlfriend it is guaranteed you’ll be married before the year is out.
3) Fried chicken feet. In southern China the New Year is feted with fireworks, rice wine, and fried chicken feet. The Chinese eat the whole foot, bone and cartilage and all, and will tell you it tastes delicious and is very good luck. Reports from foreigners who try it vary – some say it tastes like burnt toast but otherwise is harmless; others have had to go to the local ER to have their stomachs pumped due to the bone fragments. Apparently, it’s all a matter of mastication.
4) Ha’penny pudding. In Great Britain they make a sort of mincemeat pie without the crust, and hide a coin inside it. Everyone is served a portion of the pudding on New Year’s Day and whoever gets the piece with the coin will be blessed with good luck all year. In Scotland the thrifty people have replaced the coin with a small gherkin.
5) Raw calf liver with citrus chutney. Argentina is a meat-eating country, since they produce more beef and export more beef than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. So it makes sense they would celebrate New Year with plenty of good red meat. But exactly why you have to eat your liver raw is unclear – most Argentines say it is a native custom that the Spaniards kept on. The citrus chutney, made of grated lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and imported bergamot from Italy, mixed with fiery chili peppers, is said to discourage the flu bug; children are often given it as a cold medication when they come down with the sniffles.
6) Beery chicken. Take one whole chicken, drown it in a gallon of Foster’s overnight, and then stew it and serve with parsnips – that’s the way to woo Lady Luck in Australia. Australian sheep shearers, who pretty much live on a diet of mutton and Foster’s Ale all year long, have been known to go on strike if they don’t get their beery chicken on New Year’s Day.
7) Poutine. This Canadian staple is not exactly touted as a good luck charm on New Year’s Day. Instead, it is prepared for all those unfortunates who overindulged the night before and are now suffering from a hangover; it is purported to cure hangovers in a trice. Poutine is made of French fries covered with melted cheese curds and brown gravy. If you can stomach such a disgusting mess on New Year’s Day you probably deserve some good luck.
8) Palm grubs. Now this one is on shaky ground. Expats who live in Cambodia swear that the native population chop down dead palm trunks on New Year’s Day to extract the large, pasty white, beetle grubs that infest it, and eat them raw, with relish. This may be a holdover from the famine times Cambodia experienced during the 70’s and 80’s, but the Khmer natives we have spoken with disavow any such disgusting tradition. This is probably a case of expats pulling some travel writer’s leg.
9) Reindeer steak. Norwegians celebrate the New Year with a large, juicy steak provided by their northern neighbors, the Laplanders. It’s extremely expensive, and so only the well-off can afford to have it. Still, those Norwegians in humbler circumstances manage to get ahold of some ground up reindeer meat to make “kjottebolle”, or meatballs, for their New Year’s Day supper. Eaten with boiled potatoes and lingonberry relish.
10) Devil pasties. In South Africa housewives pride themselves on making the spiciest devil pasty in the neighborhood. A holdover from the days when Cornish miners worked the gold and diamond mines, the pasty is a fried pie with a filling inspired by spices brought over by Indian indentured servants during the 19th century. If it doesn’t coat your tongue with ash, goes the South African saying, you won’t be getting any good luck for the New Year.
Planning a quick trip or vacation this holiday season? If you’re a beer lover, you can’t do much better than visiting some of Oregon’s famous microbreweries. Oregon ranks fourth nationally in craft breweries per capita, and with a winter medley of award-winning seasonal brews, there’s sure to be something for everyone. We’ve compiled a short list of fiver breweries you won’t want to miss, along with their seasonal beers. Enjoy!
Rogue Ales – Santa’s Private Reserve
Founded in 1988, Rogue Ales quickly expanded from its original location in Ashland and now operates breweries in several locations throughout Oregon, California, and Washington. Rogue has produced over 60 different regular and seasonal ale varieties. Using a non-pasteurized process and all natural, locally sourced ingredients, Rogue beers have won major awards in worldwide competitions.
Rogue’s seasonal brew, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a delicious double-hopped red with a roasty, malty flavor and a spruce finish, and is recommended to pair with pork and beef.
Widmer Brothers – Barrel Aged Brrrbon
Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer began brewing beer for themselves and their friends in 1979, and by 1984 they were ready to quit their day jobs and make beer brewing their full-time vocation. They established a brewing company in Portland, and in 1986 they created the first American-style cloudy and unfiltered hefeweizen.
Along with Bridgeport Ales and Portland Brewing Company, Widmer Brothers launched the Oregon Brewer’s Festival in 1988, which is attended today by over 80 breweries and 70,000 people and is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in the country. Not long after, they relocated to the current location in north Portland, where they continue to produce award-winning beers. Rent a car if you’re visiting as it can be the best solution for getting around to the different breweries and making the most of your experience.
Barrel Aged Brrrbon is a version of their winter seasonal ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. It is a smooth winter ale, combining malty sweetness with vanilla, caramel, and oak flavors.
Deschutes – Jubelale
The fifth-largest craft brewery in the United States, Deschutes was founded in Bend, Oregon in 1988. Named after the Deschutes River, the brewery began as a small brew pub and quickly outgrew its original location. The company specializes in non-GMO vegan beers, utilizing a clarifying agent made from Irish Moss, a red algae. Deschutes brewery is also active in community and sustainability, purchasing or offsetting 100 percent of electrical power usage from renewable sources, and donating $1 for every barrel sold to charities.
Jubelale, available September through December, is a deep red ale described by Deschutes as a dark, malty celebration ale with layered flavors and beautifully balanced hopping. It is medium bodied with chicory, spice, earth, and fruit notes.
Full sail – Wassail
One of Oregon’s first microbreweries, Full Sail Brewing Company produced a total of 287 barrels in its first year, and currently brews 130,000 barrels per year. Along with its trademark Amber Ale, Full Sail began brewing Wassail Winter Ale in 1988, a year after opening. A medal winning brew with caramel and dark chocolate malts, Wassail is a deep mahogany color with a hoppy, malty aroma and flavor. Wassail Winter Ale is only available for 90 days, from October to December.
Hair of the Dog – Doggie Claws
Hair of the Dog is family owned and operated microbrewery based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1993, the brewery produces creative beers using traditional methods. Hair of the Dog brewery experiments with the barrel aging process, and is one of the first breweries in the United States to produce high alcohol, bottle conditioned beers.
Doggie Claws is a copper colored ale released annually in November. It is a barley, made in the West Coast style with hops and more hops, and is one of their most popular brews.
By Brett Dugan
By Brett Dugan, a travel writer working for advantage
One of the best things about spending time in a foreign country is the chance it provides to sample new flavours and to experience new foods. If you’re moving to Canada then you’ll have plenty of time to experience the meals and drinks that are popular throughout the country. Here are six favourite Canadian flavours that are loved by residents and by tourists:
Something of a Canadian staple, maple syrup can be added to sweet and savoury dishes. It’s enjoyed as an addition to mashed potato, it’s used to cover pancakes, it’s added to porridge, used as a dip for fresh fruit, drizzled over ice cream and served with sausages. It’s also used to make sweets and to flavour cakes, and can be used as a coating for popcorn or a glaze for meat or fish. 85% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada.
Tim Hortons’ Hot Chocolate
Tim Hortons’ famous hot chocolate has a rich, creamy flavour and is a very satisfying drink. Tim Hortons is a Canadian fast food restaurant serving sandwiches, snacks and drinks and on the menu you’ll find varieties of hot chocolate ranging from the traditional cocoa drink to flavours including vanilla, toffee, caramel, mint and hazelnut. There are also seasonal favourites including gingerbread and the much-loved Candy Cane flavour with white hot chocolate, mint flavouring and coloured sprinkles.
Another Canadian speciality, the butter tart is a dessert tart made with butter, syrup, egg and sugar in a flaky pastry. Traditionally, raisins are added. The recipe for the butter tart varies across Canada, with many families having made their own modifications. Often, additional ingredients include nuts, coconut, currants, butterscotch, peanut butter, maple syrup and chocolate.
Authentic Canadian bacon is a lean roasted joint that has been rolled in cornmeal. It tastes fresh and is unsmoked. You might think that a joint of meat is best served as an evening meal, but many Canadians also serve Canadian bacon with pancakes and maple syrup as a breakfast dish.
As their name would suggest, Beaver Tails are flat pastry snacks in the shape of a beaver’s tail. They’re fried like a doughnut, and typically topped with butter. Then, Canadians add anything from cinnamon or chocolate to dried banana slices, pieces of fudge, nuts, fresh pieces of fruit, Nutella and, of course, maple syrup. Lemon can also be drizzled over an untopped Beaver Tail, or used as an accompanying flavouring.
Poutine is a Canadian fast food dish made of chips, gravy and cheese curds. It’s certainly not healthy, but it is surprisingly satisfying. Poutine has long been a Quebec staple, but it’s now becoming more popular across the country and has recently been added to the menu of all Canadian McDonalds restaurants.
You don’t have to be living in Canada to try these meals and drinks. Thanks to online shops and the fact that many ingredients are available elsewhere, it’s possible to try these popular flavours without ever entering Canada. Have you got a favourite Canadian dish? Do you have any to add to this list? Why not comment with your thoughts?
Susan Lewis is a cookery blogger originally from England, and now lives in Canada preparing authentic Canadian dishes for the whole family.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. This resolution is achievable by eating foods that create energy, boost the metabolism and burn fat. Food such green tea, cabbage, eggs and blueberries are known for producing energy and enhancing the metabolism.
Green Tea Smoothie
The recipe for a green tea smoothie calls for ¾ cup of cold green tea, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of agave nectar, 1 diced pear, 2 tablespoons of plain, fat-free yogurt, and about 8 ice cubes.
To make the smoothie, place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture has a smooth consistency. A good blender can be key to a good smoothie. A Cuisinart blender, for example, will last longer than others, and Cuisinart parts are easier to replace than other brands.
The recipe for cabbage soup calls for 1 head of cabbage, chopped, 1 can of cut green beans, 5 diced carrots, 3 diced onions, 2 diced green bell peppers, 10 stalks of diced celery, 2 cans of whole tomatoes with the liquid, 1 package of dry onion soup mix, 2 quarts of tomato juice and 1 14 ounce can of beef broth.
To make the soup, place the vegetables into a large stock pot. Add the tomato juice, broth and onion soup. Add enough water to the pot so the vegetables are covered. Cook the soup on low until the vegetables are tender.
Vegetable Egg Omelets
The recipe for vegetable egg omelets call for 10 egg whites, 5 eggs, 3 cups of vegetables, which include diced green bell peppers, diced mushrooms and thinly-sliced zucchini, 1/3 cup of diced onion, 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon of dried basil, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce, ¼ cup of water, ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
To make the omelets, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, cook the vegetables and basil in the butter for approximately 5 minutes then add the salt and pepper. Remove the veggies from the heat and add the tomato sauce. Place tin foil over the veggies to keep them warm. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and water in a large bowl then pour the eggs into a lightly-greased 15 x 10 inch baking pan and bake for approximately 7 minutes. Once the eggs are done, cut them into 5 inch squares and fill them with the veggies and cheeses. Fold the squares in half and serve.
The recipe for blueberry parfait calls for 2 cups of blueberries, 2 cups of vanilla flavored fat-free yogurt and 1 cup of maple-pecan granola.
To make the parfait, place ¼ cup of yogurt into 4 parfait dishes. Top each dish with ¼ cup each of blueberries then add ¼ cup each granola. Repeat by adding ¼ cup each of yogurt then ¼ cup each of blueberries.
Green tea burns fat calories by boosting the metabolism and cabbage soup contains very little calories. Additionally, eggs combined with vegetables aid in losing weight by adding healthy, energizing protein that stimulates the metabolism and blueberries alter how the body converts excess sugar into fat by changing how it is stored within the body.
Do not think about how sticky your table linen will get or if the kids will touch your bedding in their rush to hug you for baking these delicious treats. Have fun with this traditional, Country Christmas treat. Molasses cookies have been around long before refined sugar. These cookies are straight out of a storybook. So many generations of people have baked them the mixture makes one think of a Christmas of Old.
Home décor is very much a part of the holidays. The table linen and any housewares accent a home. You can change the curtains and make the bed and bath beautiful, but Christmas baking is a thing of legends. Here, with this delicious easy to prepare cookie recipe you make lifetime fans. The sprinkled sugar on these cookies makes them an extra special treat for holiday revelers. Add this recipe to your favorite holiday menu and bake them again, keeping a good supply on hand for family and guests.
1 tsp ground ginger
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp clove (ground)
1-cup sugar (brown)
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ stick soften butter
1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
Dash of salt
Sprinkle / Turbinado sugar
These cookies are easy to prepare. First set your oven at 350 degrees F, now get a mixing bow for your ingredients. Mix the dry ingredient together. The flour, ginger, cloves, dash of salt, cinnamon and baking soda and place it separate while you stir the butter, molasses, brown sugar and eggs together. Once this is done, slowly fold the flour mixture and the moist ingredient together.
Spoon cookie onto a pan, sprinkle sugar and bake. Cookies look nicer when a measuring scoop is used. These fun cookies take about 30 minutes to prepare with a cook time of 20 minutes. They make a nice batch of around 36, plenty to share. If you are not careful, you may start a baking frenzy with this simple recipe. Turbinado sugar is one of the healthier sugars for your body making this recipe a big hit with most people. Molasses has been around for centuries and one of the chosen sweeteners when sugar was almost impossible to get. These cookies are made with the lighter molasses since it is the sweetest but Black Strap Molasses is the deepest shade. True Molasses is thick and pours very slowly, the term, “slow as molasses” is well earned by this syrup.
When people look back at things that happen on a vacation or a holiday they always remember the food. It does not matter whether it go burned or was absolutely terrible. The odor of baking and the activity that accompanies it is never forgotten. Bake Molasses cookies: A Country Christmas Treat! When baking cookies, display them in lovely basket easily found at bed and bath stores. Utensils and baking pans are found in housewares if you are a first time baker. If baking cookies for entertaining a little home fashion added to the mix will make your gathering a holiday hit.
+Paul Reichman is the founder of BedBathStore. Using decades of experience in home fashion, Paul offers quality bed, bath and home furnishings at affordable prices through www.bedbathstore.com.
Half of the people I know now treat gluten
As ruthlessly as that old Vladimir Putin.
And ev’ryone seems to think innocent sugar
Repulsive as fungus all covered in booger.
Dairy is out; and as for any red meat,
It’s shot down as often as amateur skeet.
I can’t keep it straight as to which oils are which;
The ones I should use and the ones I should pitch.
Eggs are restricted and starch is verboten.
You have to drink water till kidneys are floatin’.
I’d tell you just what I think of this coercing,
But for the New Year I have given up cursing!
Nothing says great comfort food like southern dishes. These are often hearty and packed full of protein and carbohydrates that deliver an amazing flavor. There is almost always some type of chicken on the table, and biscuits are a necessity so that they can be used for dipping in gravy. The following has four fairly common, but very fun, southern dish ideas for you.
This is a classic when it comes to southern food. There are several ways to prepare fried chicken, but the easiest way is to roll it in flour and fry it in about an inch of vegetable oil. Add a little salt and pepper to the flour for seasoning. You can also get a chicken breading that gives a little more kick to the chicken. Make sure you thoroughly cook the chicken through so that there is not any blood left in the meat.
Another classic southern dish is potato salad. This can also be made in a variety of ways, but it is best if you use simple ingredients. Begin by boiling about eight large potatoes. When the potatoes have finished boiling, you can chop them into small pieces. Add one and a half cups of mayonnaise to the potatoes and one tablespoon of mustard. You can also add diced hard boiled eggs to add some richness to the flavor. Sprinkle a small amount of paprika on top of the potato salad for seasoning. Diced onions can be added to the salad for an extra kick.
Pork Belly Roast
A pork belly roast isn’t so common as the other three on this list, but it’s very southern, and very delicious if done properly. You can buy pork belly online and place it in a crock pot for a delicious roast that falls apart as soon as you remove it from the water. Only put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pot because the pork belly will create its own juices as it cooks. Cook the roast on low heat for about six hours. Remove the roast, and slice it or pull it apart to make BBQ. A smoky sauce is an excellent addition to the pork. You can also add a southern BBQ sauce that is made with vinegar for a tangy dish.
When it comes time for something sweet, pecan pie is a decadent dessert that is delicious with vanilla ice cream. Use fresh pecans for the best flavor, and if possible, make your own crust instead of getting a frozen crust. This is among the southern dessert classics you and your other diners will come to love.
Whether you are preparing a dinner for the holidays or for a Sunday lunch, southern food is something that is easy to make. Seasoning is everything when it comes to the dishes. Don’t go overboard, but make sure there is plenty of flavors that combine well, and don’t forget to use the freshest ingredients possible for the best consistency of the dish.
While there are many factors that are important in the success of any restaurant, five factors are essential. Not only do these guidelines assure success, failure to meet any one of them may be fatal to your fledgling enterprise.
Prompt, friendly interaction with customers establishes the foundation of an enjoyable experience for your customers. Train staff to remember “ABC” in any situation: Always Be Courteous. Regard problems as a challenge to meet, not as a disruption to routine. Take complaints seriously, and address problems as soon as they are discovered.
One of the most disruptive conditions in the restaurant business is high turnover among kitchen staff. There is a learning curve in both preparation, and presentation of your menu items. Hire good people; train them well; let them know how important they are. While adequate pay is important, intangibles such as expressing appreciation for a job well done, and making sure that unpleasant tasks are assigned fairly will inspire loyalty and minimize costly turnover.
There are many factors to consider in menu planning: freshness, flavor, current food fashion, and attractive presentation. On the practical side, you also need to consider cost, preparation time, and potential waste. Developing a few unique items can help set your restaurant apart from competitors. A favorite family dessert, or Aunt Gertrude’s Secret Recipe Salad Dressing can have customers coming back for more.
While most customers don’t see behind the scenes to know whether or not your kitchen harbors dirty little secrets, a dirty kitchen poses health and safety hazards, and can negatively impact employee morale. Most Health Department violations are a matter of public record, and can be a source of bad publicity for months after violations have been corrected. The only thing worse than a Health Department violation, is the potential financial liability for a food-borne illness affecting one or more customers.
Finally, the overall appearance of public areas are vital to success. Plumbing leaks in bathrooms, or cracks in sheetrock on dining room walls creates a bad impression. Fresh, clean decor affirms the impression of fresh, clean food. Attention to detail in maintaining the overall appearance of your restaurant indicates that you pay attention to detail with the menu as well.
Opening a new restaurant can be an exciting experience. By paying close attention to these basic success factors, you can overcome the many challenges that often follow.
- Waffles. (without the chicken, PLEASE.)
- Donuts. (I’ll take a dozen – hold the saliva.)
- Cream of Wheat. (Stir in some Nutella for a taste bud orgasm!)
- Fried chicken. (as long as someone else does the frying.)
- Mashed potatoes. (the day there is enough gravy for ‘em is the day I know I’ve died and gone to heaven.)
- Green bean casserole. (the only thing canned mushroom soup is good for, outside of cleaning grout.)
- Meatball sandwich. (if it don’t drip, it’s a rip!)
- Grilled cheese sandwich. (with tomato soup, natch.)
- Matzo ball soup. (You were thinking we wouldn’t remember, maybe?)
10. Mac and Cheese. (out of a box – we ain’t on Iron Chef, baby!)
With such a colourful past you’d expect there to be a few cover ups or crazy conspiracy theories based on coffee, its powers and its origins and you wouldn’t be far wrong. From being classed as magical to being the drink of the devil coffee has had some serious public relations battles to fight through, so I’m here to share with you the three craziest conspiracy theories I have come across involving coffee, if you have any others don’t hesitate to let us know.
Theory: Coffee was actually discovered in the US
To understand the origin of coffee you first have to know about the tale of Kaldi and his dancing goats – He was a young goat herder that lived in the middle east, the country varies depending upon the teller, whose goats began eating red berries from a dark green bush. Kaldi watched the goats jump and dance around with energy after eating the berries and tried a few himself, soon finding the same thing happening to him. Kaldi took the berries to a nearby monastery (or was discovered to be acting strangely by a monk passing by) – the monks experimented with the berries, finding that brewing them in a liquid increased their ability to stay up later and helped them to preform their prayers and night time duties. From here coffee slowly spread throughout the world carried by trade.
However two men from the US dispute this, claiming to have found cave paintings showing a dancing mule and Native Americans somewhere in the Ozarks in South west Missouri, they continue their story by stating that their discovery was under investigation by archaeologists and scientists but then all went quiet… When they next tried to find out information they were told to leave the cave alone by the FBI. You can read more on their conspiracy theory at their website The Dancing Mule ( http://dancingmulecoffee.com/about-us/the_kaldi_conspiracy/ )
A Drink Potent with Impotency
Theory: Coffee makes men impotent
When the coffee bean made it to English shores coffee houses sprung up rapidly, patrons would sip and enjoy the stimulating beverage and conversations with topics ranging from philosophy to politics. However, ladies soon began to rail against coffee, blaming it for taking their husbands time and sexual energies away from them this viewpoint was put forward in a pamphlet called The Women’s Petition Against Coffee – which was published in 1672.
‘we can attribute to nothing more than the excessive use of that newfangled, abominable, heathenish liquor called coffee, which rifling Nature of her choicest treasures, and drying up the radical moisture, has so eunuched our husbands and crippled our more kind gallants that they are become as impotent, as aged, and as unfruitful as those deserts whence that unhappy berry is said to be brought. ‘
As you can imagine the petition did nothing to stop the consumption of coffee, people carried on drinking it and still do to this day.
A Coffee Giant is Against a Religion
Theory: Starbucks is behind Zionist plots
You may be puzzled by the Starbucks logo, one conspiracy theory is that its the image is of the biblical maiden Queen Esther, proving to certain theorists that Starbucks is behind Zionist movements and plots. However the creators of Starbucks simply chose an image to fit with their nautical theme (they’re named after a character in Moby Dick, don’t you know) and the original logos display a two tailed siren that was found in a Nordic book of woodcuts. The image has since undergone a bit of a face lift, the siren was made youthful, she was made a little more tasteful by covering up her nudity with her long hair and given an extreme close up to show only part of her twin tails. So no Zionist movements, just a love of literary classics!
Tammy Morris holds a strong love of coffee and of it’s history. When conspiracy theory gets in the way of a good cuppa, she’s there to put the world to rights.