What if we in the Inland Northwest truly embraced lentils as the good luck food for New Year’s Day?
It could be great, that’s what.
OK, you might be familiar with the legumes/good fortune theme attached to this day. Black-eyed peas are a New Year’s tradition in parts of the country. And apparently holiday lentils have been embraced in Italy and Brazil. Probably here, too, though it has escaped my notice.
Old stories explain this tradition. But I say we start fresh.
Let’s make lentils our go-to New Year’s staple and come up with our own local legends.
The Slice will offer a dozen reasons why Inland Northwesterners eat lentils on New Year’s Day. Please vote for one. (Or come up with your own and send that.)
1. We eat lentils as our way of celebrating the bland but substantial in our nature.
2. We eat lentils because doing so guarantees the Seahawks will run the ball down near the goal line late in the Super Bowl.
3. We eat lentils to remind us that spring is coming and to celebrate the fecundity of women wearing Zags sweatshirts.
4. We eat lentils as a form of gaseous sacrifice intended to please the Great Marmot and call down his favor upon us.
5. We eat lentils as a way of warding off the flu and post-Christmas bills.
6. We eat lentils to atone for our sins of the previous 12 months and to begin the new year with a digestive salute. It’s the one day that sound is socially acceptable!
7. We eat lentils as our way of remembering that the Inland Northwest owes its prosperity (such as it is) to that which we derive from the good Earth – via lumbering, mining and farming.
8. We eat lentils to express our hopes that the rest of the nation will one day be able to correctly pronounce “Spokane.”
9. We consume lentils to symbolically “eat” our anger about guns, studded tires, bicyclists, vaccinations and economic inequality.
10. We eat lentils to remind us of the need to cultivate our patience and ability to forgive.
11. We eat lentils on New Year’s Day as our way of celebrating the endless possibilities represented by the coming births of children in the new year.
12. We eat lentils to support farmers and, by extension, ourselves.
Today’s Slice question: Are you surprised that you made it to 2016?
Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget the “Twilight Zone” marathon.