Good Luck Through Good Eating Black-eyed peas are one way to eat your way to good fortune in the New Year, according to popular custom. But this time of year, folks fall back on many food traditions, from grapes to noodles and greens.
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Good Luck Through Good Eating

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Good Luck Through Good Eating

Good Luck Through Good Eating

Good Luck Through Good Eating

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Black-eyed peas are one way to eat your way to good fortune in the New Year, according to popular custom. But this time of year, folks fall back on many food traditions, from grapes to noodles and greens.

ANDREA SEABROOK, Host:

New Year's Day isn't just bowl games and resolutions. Nearly every culture has special foods to eat on January 1st to ensure good luck and prosperity in the new year. WEEKEND EDITION commentator Bonny Wolf decided to try some for the New Year's Day brunch she's putting together for a newly married couple.

BONNY WOLF: The newlyweds are a happy, well-suited couple. They probably don't need all this extra insurance, but why take chances? Keep your fingers crossed.

SEABROOK: Bonny Wolf is author of "Talking With My Mouth Full" and contributing editor for Kitchen Window, NPR's online food column.

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Vasilopita

This cake, loaded with citrus and brandy, is served on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day in many Greek homes. A coin is dropped in the batter and whoever gets it will have good luck in the new year. This recipe is adapted from The Foods of the Greek Islands by Aglaia Kremezi (Houghton Mifflin 2000).

4 large eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Whole blanched almonds

Coin wrapped in aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until light yellow, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and beat 1 minute. Beat in the orange and lemon juices and brandy.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and orange and lemon zests. Add to the egg yolk mixture and stir until blended.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the batter. Place the almonds on the bottom of the pan and pour the batter over them. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack before removing and serving.