Even in Roman times, lentils were a symbol of abundance and all over Italy they are eaten on New Year's Eve in the hope that they will bring prosperity. They are often eaten with sausages and, even though there is a proverb saying that given a choice of lentils, chickpeas or sausages the sausages are tastiest, I think we can do our lentils more justice than that.
Last night I made this brown lentil and red chilli pepper loaf. It's a dish I often made in the UK but this was the first time I'd made it here and it was as good as I remembered.
The recipe is in a rather old Vegetarian Cooking edition of the Australian Women's Weekly Home Library series. I used to collect these colourful cookbooks in the UK and, once I got to grips with Australian measures - we British don't do "cups" and an Australian cup is different from an American cup - they served me well.
Every lentil you eat on New Year's Eve symbolises a coin so now all I have to do is wait for the money to roll in!