Pennsylvania Dutch tradition welcomes the New Year with a dinner of pork and sauerkraut accompanied by mashed potatoes and applesauce. Tradition states that it will bring good luck throughout the year.
There are many variations to this traditional feast involving some form of pork and sauerkraut. Usually it is a pork loin cooked in a covered roaster and braised in sauerkraut. Pork butts and rib roasts are also quite common as the main event. Black pepper is the simplest addition to the pot, but some cooks will add caraway seeds and/or garlic.
The usual accompaniment to this combination is mashed-potatoes, but pierogies are also often featured as a side dish. Apple sauce, either plain or spiced, is a must have accompaniment to the pork. Additional vegetables can include glazed carrots (first cut into “coins”, boiled and then baked in butter and brown sugar). Pickled beets also add some color to the mostly white meal.
Beer is the preferred beverage at the table, but birch or root beer will do for those who tea-total. I know of no traditional dessert to finish off the meal because there is no room for any.