Why Red Beans and Rice on Monday?
This morning my wife and I were watching Good Morning Acadiana when the school lunch menus came on. My wife made a comment about so many schools serving red beans and rice today, and I commented "Well yeah, it's Monday." She looked at me like I was crazy. This made me think, why do we eat red beans and rice on Mondays?
As I kid, I knew it was time to take a shower, settle down and get ready for school on Monday when I head my mom pouring the red beans in the pot to soak. We honestly probably ate red beans and rice every Monday for dinner when I was growing up. However, I never stopped to think about why red beans and Mondays are a thing until today.
The Tradition of Eating Red Beans and Rice on Mondays
Back in the day, Mondays were traditionally known as "wash days", the day when all of the family laundry was done. Doing all that laundry left little time to pay attention to cooking dinner. Red beans and rice were a perfect solution.
From neworleansonline.com -
Mondays used to be the traditional wash day of the week. Traditionally, women of the house would put on a pot of red beans to cook all day while they tended to the laundry, since the meal required little hands-on attention. The beans were largely seasoned by the leftover hambone from the previous night’s dinner.
So, once I found this out, it raised two more questions. Why were Mondays wash days, and why did we eat ham on Sundays?
Many years ago, housework work was run on a pretty strict schedule. Each day of the week had a specific job assigned to it.
From berksmontnews.com -
Monday, wash-day; Tuesday, ironing; Wednesday, mending; Thursday, upstairs cleaning; Friday, baking; Saturday, cleaning downstairs; Sunday, church. Downstairs cleaning was done on Saturday because Sunday afternoon was visiting day.