Three out of every four years have a duration of 365 days and 11 minutes. This year, the 4th year however, adds an additional day, Thursday, February 29th. The scientific reason is that Earth’s rotation around the sun is not perfectly aligned. To keep the calendar in sync with the seasons, an extra day must be added every 4 years!
The first week of any new year is fraught with emotions for most of us; either you’re relieved to see the old year in your rear-view mirror, depressed at the thought of starting all over again, or optimistically looking forward to the challenge of another chance to “shine, make amends or improve”!
It has become a tradition in many parts of the country and even the world to eat pork & sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. It started as a Pennsylvania Dutch practice because they believed it was good luck to do so. The simple reason is because pigs root for food in a forward motion and since people want to “move forward” in the new year, pork became the symbol for that. Cabbage is a symbolic representation of money simply because it’s leafy and green!
At our house we try to adhere to this tradition on New Year’s Day not for any symbolism but because Heather & I love the taste. (the kids, not so much). Usually, we end up employing a crock pot in the preparation. Often times, a crock pot, while thoroughly cooking the meat, doesn’t impart that golden crust that is so appealing – both visually and savory. That’s why I start with a skillet or frying pan with a little oil in the bottom.
After preheating, I use a pair of heavy tongs to hold the pork roast on all its sides for a minute or two to sear in the juices and ultimately, the flavor. Then it goes into the crock pot to continue its journey to 165°F. Our pork prices this year are outstanding and even if you’re not a sauerkraut fan, there are countless recipes out there for enjoying “the other white meat!”