The end of this dreadful year is finally here. Of course, we won’t wake up tomorrow to find all the hardships of 2020 have magically disappeared. But the turn of the calendar is a fresh start and with it comes renewed energy to keep moving forward.

Looking ahead is one of the reasons, according to an old wives' tale, why so many people serve pork on New Year’s Day. Chickens scratch backward, but snouts root forward. That may be a bunch of, ahem, hogwash, but I’ll buy it this year.

For our pork dish, I took inspiration from a traditional ham glaze and applied it to pork loin chops. The sweet syrupy glaze made with cane syrup, brown sugar and fresh Louisiana orange juice gave these chops just the right flavor without all the carving.

I Eat La.: Cuddle up with comfort foods that will help keep you healthy

Another lucky New Year's Day dish is cabbage, said to bring good fortune. My kids don’t appreciate a tender slice of sweet fresh cabbage, so I'll eat mine and theirs, too. 

This delicious cabbage recipe is a modified version of my mother’s tried-and-true preparation. The recipe is a mere guide; liberal use of sugar and butter is encouraged.

I Eat La.: Enjoy a night in with these delicious lamb chops and fluffy sweet potatoes

I wish you all a peaceful, restful New Year’s Day full of all of your favorite traditions to help start a new year off right. There’s no predicting what’s in store for our world in the next year. No matter what challenges the year brings, I know we’ll keep moving forward.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at