Have you ever heard of the New Year's Day meal tradition that's supposed to bring you "Health, Wealth and Happiness?" It was on the menu at a cafe on Dixie Highway where we found that there's always a "special of the day".
It may be a holiday, but the lunch rush was hoppin' at Christi's Café with a special of the day that, for some, is a time-tested tradition.
"I had corned beef and cabbage and black-eyed peas," Amos Whetstone said.
It’s also a New Year’s Day favorite fare that Marie Peck has enjoyed for years. "We used to put a dime in the cabbage, and you put a penny in the black eyed peas, for luck and for money," Peck says.
“No," laughed Ally Cook of Christi's Café. “I think that would go against health the code. We should probably refrain from that."
With a kind smile and laugh Ally explains why this dish draws diners, “You eat it and you get health, wealth and happiness throughout the year. And, I think, everybody eats it just kind of clinging to that hope for a little bit of wealth, health and happiness."
After spending just a few minutes at the cafe, you find that every order is a special order. Those holding the menu hold a heartfelt story, like Amos Whetstone and Marie Peck.
“I had never heard of it before I married my wife." he says of the New Year’s tradition. He lost his beloved Diane five years ago but orders the special every New Year’s Day. “It's a comforting feeling,” he explained.
The meal was delivered hot to a Marie's Peck table which is just a few feet away from Amos'.
“I am going through chemo and there are a lot of things that I cannot eat. They have a lot of soup with broth and they take care of me as far as that.” 2019 wasn't the best for Marie, but the service here has warmed her heart as much as her belly. “I really love the girls here, they really put out the effort”, she said. And this dish adds to her rosy outlook for 2020.
"It's going to be better,” she insisted, with a tear in her eye. Everything is going to come out good. I really, in my heart I know that everything is going to be fine.”
"All of our customers, they're kind of just family", Ally cook explained. On this New Year's Day, they were serving up tradition. But maybe the real food for thought is something you won't find on the menu. Something to chew on for the year to come.
"Yes,” says Ally. “Just treating people how you want to be treated. I think that's good advice to take through your whole year.”
Other stories of interest to check out on whas11.com
- Why the 'Trucker Salute' is a tradition worth saving
- What's Right 2019: The good things that happened this year