My husband likes to do this as a family tradition. We are both from the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. I was curious, why did our families cook cabbage on New Year’s. I don’t know why I had never questioned this before. What does this tradition signify? According to Appalachian Magazine, this tradition of fried cabbage or cooking cabbage was born out of necessity. Cabbage was the vegetable in plentiful supply around New Years. Cabbage can be grown in a fall garden and keeps longer than other veggies. This made it an ideal choice for a large New Year’s celebration. Over time, this became a tradition. By adding money, it signifies good luck or prosperity for the person that finds it in their plate.
So what do you think? Will you start this fried cabbage tradition?
This year, we made Fried Cabbage and Smoked Sausage. It’s a little spicy with the rotel but you can easily remove or substitute that ingredient.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1/2 lb smoked sausage
- 1 can rotel (spicy) or 1 can of petite diced tomatoes (non spicy)
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Chop head of cabbage. Pre-cook the smoked sausage for about 3 minutes in large skillet. Add butter and cabbage. Cover and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes until cabbage wilts. Add remaining ingredients. Cover for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
**Note: if you are going to add a silver coin to this traditional dish, make sure it’s pure silver not clad in silver like most coins are today.