Lentils, Traditions and Moving Forward

Eat your lentils …

In my latest ProJo article, I write of the tradition of eating lentils and pork sausage on New Year’s Eve.

Lentils were the charms that were supposed to bring good luck, while the pork symbolized moving forward. Pigs root forward.

In addition, the Italians tossed pots and pans at midnight to symbolize “out with the old, make room for the new.” This was beautifully demonstrated in this scene from Cinema Paradiso.

Click on the link to read Traditions and Moving Forward.

Happy New Year!

© 2018


By | 2018-01-13T14:02:33+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Holidays|21 Comments


  1. Nancy Earle January 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Awe…Papa Pete. Best guy ever!

    • Ed January 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      You bet he was, Nance

  2. GINO MAINI January 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    OOPS Don’t forget to add raisins to the lentils. Lentils for WEALTH and raisins for GOOD LUCK!!!

    Buon Capodanno

    • Ed January 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Aha! I was not aware of the raisins.
      Thank you, Gino.

  3. Mary Hobart January 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Love your writings. especially “sainted Sunday dinner”. Exactly how it was in my Graziano family. Hi from Braintree, MA.

    • Ed January 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Mary.

  4. Carol January 15, 2018 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    Great picture of your Dad.

    Kaitlyn is spending the day with us – – she says Hi!

    • Ed January 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Kaitlyn.

  5. Joyce bellemore January 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    Always with a smile……and handsome!

    • Ed January 15, 2018 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Inside and out. Thank you, Joyce.

  6. Joe Giusto January 15, 2018 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Lentils, my favorite legume, very easy and simple to cook and goes well with practically any food.

    To me, it is good luck just having them as a meal.

    • Ed January 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Yes, Joe, I agree. Thanks

  7. peter voccio jr January 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    DR. ED. ,

    The sled and skates I always appreciated and understood and the fun that came with them.
    The lentils I wasn’t aware but I remember visiting Aunts and Uncles in South Providence and
    didn’t know why and I was never told of the marching in the house with a Christmas tree and
    hitting pans along with some Italian words.. Now at 82 it all comes to light for that 9 year old boy.

    • Ed January 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Now you know “the rest of the story.”

  8. peter voccio jr January 16, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    DR. ED. ,

    And Thank You!

  9. Ray Amore January 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Greeting Ed. I hope this is an appropriate space to speak of the book you handed out last week. As is my wont, I randomly open it to something that catches the eye. For example: Academy Avenue school. You remember more of your experiences there than I do, but your descriptions of entering the torture chamber of the dentist and submitting to the dreaded Schick test evoked some images long dormant in this old brain. And, by the way, were you so judiciously vengeful as to horrify your pals who frightened you about the big drill and needle? If so, as someone with Sicilian revenge built into his DNA (seldom exercised) I am proud of you.

    • Ed January 22, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      Ray, I never realized until today that my revenge, which was intended, had its roots in Sicily. I’ll take the compliments coming from you, a writer, historian and philosopher. Thank you!

  10. Dora Waters January 22, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Ciao Ed, I remember very well my grandmother serving cotechino not with lentils but with sauerkraut and polenta every year-must have been more of a northern Veneto thing. I look for it now but I found it only when I went to Arthur Ave. in the Bronx. Just as well–not very good for one’s health, but what a flavor!

    • Ed January 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      At our age, Dora, an excursion to Arthur Avenue and (sorta) unhealthy, delicious food is recommended and justified! Where do we find it on Arthur Avenue?

  11. John Ruscito January 22, 2018 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Lentil Soup was a winter staple in our home. Both my parents were terrific cooks. What was regarded as “peasant food” then, is now “gourmet”. Certainly a change for the better.

    • Ed January 22, 2018 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      Indeed it is, John. Like polenta and rabe

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