It had been missing for years, and along with it, part of their childhood Christmas. Celina was the wife of Wilfred Rodrigue, a close friend of their father, Anthony Sr., who worked with him at the store before it was even called Rouses. The women were extremely particular about how the cookies looked, the sisters remember.
On Christmas Eve, “we used to leave (Cocoons) with a bottle of Coca-Cola for Santa,” Jeaneen said. The girls’ main job was passing the cookies through bowls of powdered sugar. The process was labor intensive, since the cookies must be dipped in powdered sugar twice. For the second dipping, in the Rouse family, a fresh bowl of clean powdered sugar, sifted to make it fluffier, was always used.
Greens: Leafy cooking greens — collards, kale, turnip, spinach, cabbage — are also associated with wealth — in this case, folding paper money. Golden foods: Go to a Chinese New Year celebration and you’ll see pyramidal stacks of oranges and pommelos (large, round yellow citrus fruits, which look like large grapefruits). Long noodles: This one is Chinese and only Chinese. The thing is, you need to slurp it, unbroken, into your mouth. Pork and fat: Think “high on the hog” and “fat of the land” and you’ll get the connection.
Although cultures other than the American one make this symbolic link, it’s particularly strong in the U. Often, in the American South, the pork is a ham hock or hambone, thrown in to simmer with the beans, greens or both.
Health and longevity, and general sweetness, also figure).
Yes, I know you almost certainly know about black-eyed peas, frequently cooked with ham hocks as in Hoppin’ John.
In Spain, eating one grape per chime of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve guarantees the same sweetness.
But, because I’m a traditionalist only up to a point, more often I’ve just riffed off of them, coming up with my own iterations, to my own taste.
Take my Spicy-Smoky East-West Black-Eyed Peas: these black-eyes, untraditionally, don’t have ham or bacon in them. A mixture of chipotle peppers and toasted sesame oil.
In parts of Italy, a round, almond-filled, snake-shaped cake is eaten, promising a sweet year, and one in which the less desirable parts of the past may be sloughed off as the snake sheds its skin (this pastry might be particularly appropriate at the changing of the guard between 20).
Round foods: Beans, the citruses, cornbread baked in a skillet and many of the traditionally lucky sweets are round.
Which brings us to what may be the most powerful symbol of all: Like the circular wedding ring, roundness speaks of eternity, of the cycle of life, and how what goes around comes around.