Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate

Your Good Luck Guide for 2013!

Last week three of my friends announced that without exaggeration 2012 was the most miserable year of their lives. I have to say, it ranks in my top three most challenging years. These challenging times must end with December 31. So what to do? After extensive research, I have a one word solution: EAT!

To improve your odds for good fortune in 2013, I suggest we follow the tried and true traditions of people all over the world. Stock up now.

1. NOODLES: In many Asian countries, long buckwheat noodles eaten on New Year’s day is the key to long life. The only caveat is that you cannot break the noodle before it is all in your mouth. Seems like a lot of pressure to me. Perhaps increase your odds by using a very large spoon.

2. GRAPES: The tradition in Spain is to eat 12 grapes before the clock strikes midnight. Each grape represents a month. Here’s the rub on this one: If, say, the third grape is sour, then the third month March will be problematic. There is a solution to this, people. Stack the deck. Buy only sweet grapes! I found nothing in my research indicating this will nullify your good luck.

3. FISH: Some say the silver skin of the fish is a sign of good fortune…except if you are the fish. Fish swim in schools which is all about abundance. The Danish eat boiled cod on New Year’s day. Those in Poland and Germany consume herring at midnight, but of course they have really scary dreams so I hope the herring is worth it. Folks in Asian countries may have some fish with their long, unbroken noodles.

4. POMEGRANATES: Pomegranates are associated with abundance. In the spirit of Zorba the Greek, Greeks smash open a pomegranate on the floor near a door. (I suspect the location was dictated by the woman of the house who had to clean up the mess.) The more seeds, the more good fortune.

5. CAKES: A less messy Greek tradition is to bake a coin in a cake. Whoever gets the piece with the coin will reap an abundance of money…or a broken tooth for which the abundance of money will come in handy.

6. PORK: Pigs are fat and fat symbolizes prosperity, again except for the pig. People in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Austria are big on roasting a suckling pig on New Year’s. Swedes aims for the pig’s feet. Germans are all about roast pork and sausages. At this point, this vegetarian is getting a little nauseous, but I will persevere.

7. GREEN VEGETABLES: Now we are in my territory. Since green leaves resemble folded money, greens like cabbage, collards, kale and chard are good luck foods. The Danish eat stewed kale with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Got to love those Danes. The Germans add some sauerkraut (cabbage) to their sausage and double their chances for good luck. Southerners love their collards. The Irish eat cabbage.

8. LEGUMES AND LENTILS: Lentils look like coins, so they are another key to wealth in 2013. You’ve got your lentil soup in Spain, sausages in green lentils in Italy and various lentil dishes in Japan. Of course Southerners eat their black-eyed peas (food group not band). If they add rice, it’s called hoppin’ john. For the 20 years I lived in Georgia, most people I knew ate black-eyed peas and hog jowls with collard greens. I favored the Southern adage, “Black-eyed peas for pennies, collard greens for dollars and cornbread for gold.”

Now, a word of caution on what NOT to eat. Don’t eat lobsters because they walk backward, and you know you don’t want to go there. Swear off all winged fowls because your good luck might just fly away.

I have done my part. The rest is up to you. I will add this one last wish: May your 2013 be filled with laughter, love, good health and abundance. Happy New Year!


  1. Hye Coh says:

    I am enjoying your Blog everyday. Where to buy buckwheat noodle?
    I am New in Santa Fe. I wish I could get some Asian grocery nearby in Santa Fe.

    • Susan Tungate says:

      Greetings and welcome to Santa Fe. You should be able to buy buckwheat noodles at Natural Grocers on Cerrillos Road or La Montanita Co-op on West Alameda. I am told Albuquerque has a few Asian specialty grocery stores. Thank you for reading. Happy New Year! Susan

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