Luck is believing you're lucky, Tennessee Williams once said.
With our freshly earned law degrees, my friends and I are definite believers in the playwright's plan. So as we prepared to part ways after our grad-school days, we decided to throw a bash to entice a lifetime of luck.
The menu, we decided, would feature foods that legend says bring good fortune. We'll need it as we send out resumes, venture into the real world and, of course, study for the bar.
In much of the world, pork is traditional for auspicious starts, because a pig goes forward with its snout to the ground, unlike a chicken, which scratches backward. So we kicked off our evening by passing plates of crispy Haitian griot, tender morsels of spicy, orange-and-lime-infused pork, a family recipe shared with us by a friend.
Serving rice -- a universal symbol for prosperity, abundance and blessings -- was a must. Ours took the form of creamy, comforting rice pudding. And Kit Kat bars were offered in abundance: The chocolate treats are an exam-day charm among Japanese students, apparently because the name resembles "kitto katsu" or "good luck." A tossed salad makes another smart side dish, because greens represent good fortune in China, where the words for lettuce sound like "growth" and "wealth."
To wash down our meal and toast to happy endings and brave beginnings, our circle of friends raised flutes of champagne -- a staple for any celebration. We cultivated our luck in other ways, too: A wishing-well centerpiece was fashioned from a water-filled fish bowl, with floating tea lights added for ambiance. And we made sure plenty of pennies were on hand for guests -- because there is that little matter of the bar exam.