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Cajun New Year’s cooking traditions

Posted at 6:53 PM, Jan 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-01 21:35:57-05

A part of celebrating the New Year is eating.

KATC went to Erath on New Year’s Day to sit down for a traditional Cajun New Year’s Day celebratory feast.

“Years and years and years, at least 40 to 50 years, we always get together at my mother-in-law’s house, and we have a wonderful time,” enthused Frankie Checker.

For the Dupres, family is everything, and every family function is centered around food.

For New Year’s Day, they start off with pork.

“The pig is known to root forward as he eats. So, we, in turn, enjoy, pork roast for happiness. We’re going to go forward in life; we’re going to go forward in the year. We’re going to hopefully have a lot of happiness,” said Monique Dupre.

When they shop for the pig at market, they make sure it still has the skin on it.

“Once it’s cooked, fully baked and cooked, we turn our oven on broil, and, that’s what crisps up the skin. You cloche the skin- kind of like cracklin,” explained Dupre.

For the smothered cabbage, they break up a whole fresh head of cabbage, and they smother it with smoked sausage, ham hocks, onion and oil.

“The cabbage symbolizes wealth, just to be prosperous throughout the year. So, we’re going to try to eat a lot of cabbage today,” said Dupre.

Preparation for the black-eyed peas begins the night before.

“We soak them in water overnight, and the next morning, we brown our ham hocks and our onions in a little oil, and then, we poor in our peas, black-eyed peas, and then a little chicken stock. And, we let it cook for several hours,” explained Dupre.

That’s how they make the creamy base that the whole Dupre family enjoys.

“This means good luck. By eating this, we’ll have luck,” said Dupre.