Blog Post by Shayla Carey
Luck, be it good or bad, is a useful psychological impetus in our daily lives. Never mind that walking under a ladder is unsafe: it’s unlucky and so we go around it. For that reason, we probably save ourselves a lot of hurt from falling objects and/or people. Traditions abound surrounding luck symbols and, without them, I would have had no reason to try pork and sauerkraut—a savory and salty meal best enjoyed mixed with mashed potatoes (in my humble opinion) and accompanied by cold mulled cider.
|A fresh ham on display at the|
2016 Harvest Days
|Fresh cabbage enjoying a salt bath as it becomes sauerkraut|
With pork and cabbage meaning so much to so many cultures, I have to admit that my husband’s family may be on to something. I certainly do feel lucky to be alive, whole, comfortable, and surrounded by family for the coming year. In the spirit of wishing you luck in the new year, I leave you with a recipe gleaned from the Landis Valley Cookbook, available at the Landis Valley Museum Store.
Pork and Sauerkraut
3- or 4-pound pork roast
2 baking apples
2 quarts sauerkraut
¼ cup brown sugar (more or less, depending on the tarness of the sauerkraut)
Salt and pepper
Put pork into a large roasting pan, fat side up. Sear all sides of the meat on top of the stove. Arrange the sauerkraut on top and around the pork. Thinly slice the apples and mix with the sauerkraut. Add brown sugar and stir it well into the sauerkraut. Add enough water to nearly cover the sauerkraut. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until the meat comes off the bones when stuck with a fork. Serve with mashed potates. Julia Lewis, c. 1930
1South Central Pennsylvania Legends & Lore, by David Puglia, page 26.
2For a really interesting article about the history of pig farming in Europe, click on the BBC article, “Pig DNA reveals farming history.”
3Landis Valley Cookbook, Landis Valley Associates, page 131.
4”Dead Lucky! What Germans Consider Lucky Charms” by Tatjana Kerschbaumer, Goethe Intitut.
5The Magic Arts in Celtic Britain, by Lewis Spence, page 160.
6“New Year’s traditions around the world,” by Nancy Clanton; Atlanta Journal Contitution.
7”Lucky Foods for the New Year,” by Lauren Salkeld, Epicurious.
8“Lucky Foods for the New Year,” by Annette Foglino, Smithsonian.com.
9“Corned Beef and Cabbage: As Irish as Spaghetti and Meatballs,” by Stephanie Butler, History.com.