Based on my Facebook feed, a lot of you were eating cabbage and pork on New Year’s Day. And writing about it.
It wasn’t a tradition we regularly engaged in growing up, but the past few years, either my mom or I have made reuben loaves for New Year’s Day. Of course, these are an interpretation of the sandwich, the reuben, which is traditionally corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and dressing on slices of rye or pumpernickle.
I’ve never been a huge fan of kraut, but I love reubens and my mom’s recipe for reuben loaf, so it was a natural choice for getting that cabbage into a meal on New Year’s Day.
My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. My dad used to be a wrestling coach for the junior high a long time ago. He took the team to a wrestling match and the host school had some refreshments for the teams after the match, and a lady had made these. He loved them and asked her for the recipe. She sent it to him, and my mom has been making it ever since.
2 Loaves of frozen bread dough
1/4 cup of Thousand Island Dressing
1-7 oz. can of corned beef
1/4 lb of swiss cheese (slices)
1-8 oz. can of sauerkraut
1 egg white, beaten
poppy seeds for garnish
Follow the directions to thaw the dough and let it rise. Roll it out to 14 by 10 inches. Spread dressing down the center of each and top with beef, cheese and sauerkraut. Fold the sides of the dough over the top. Cover dough with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray or a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Brush with egg white and top with poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. These can either be baked on a cookie sheet or in loaf pans.
These are probably, better than a reuben. Sometimes there’s too much meat or too much kraut on a reuben, and they usually fall apart before you’ve eating them, making them really messy to eat. I don’t promise that these aren’t messy, but at least you could eat them with a fork if you wanted. And they are so good left over. Reheat them in the microwave, and the cheese gets all gooey and the meat gets all greasy again and the bread gets chewy. So tasty.
So, you must’ve heard that, in addition to just eating cabbage on New Year’s Day, that you also place a silver dollar in the boiled cabbage. One year, I baked quarters in the reuben loaves since I couldn’t find any silver dollars. That was kinda gross actually.
However, eating cabbage on New Year’s Day is thought to bring specifically prosperity in the new year, because the cabbage leaves represent paper money. There are a number of food customs for New Year’s Day, all with the same idea. In the South, eating black eyed peas is thought to bring good luck, and is served with greens, instead of cabbage, representing money. The Dutch believe eating doughnuts bring good luck on New Year’s Day, as the shape, a ring, represents a cycle starting over, or a year coming full-circle.
I’ll have to remember that one for next year.