Are you superstitious? Are there certain beliefs or lore that have to do with luck that you adhere to? In the Southern United States it is a long held belief that cooking and eating Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day will bring you good luck all year. It really doesn’t matter how or if you cook them as long as you at least eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day for yearlong prosperity.
The history is long and the writing is vast on this subject. A simple Google search will give you more information than you can imagine. To intrigue you I will just throw out these separate, yet very connected words & phrases, ” Rosh Hashana”, “American South”, “Shephardi Jews”, “legume”, “George Washington Carver” (bless that man!), and “Georgia”.
My peas ready to be cooked last year. I am pretty much a “doubting Thomas” when it comes to these things, but I do always try to cook a pot of peas on New Year’s Day…just in case. Do not worry if you don’t get to cook Black Eyed Peas on the eve or day of the New Year. I am making a “new rule for the Modern South”. You can now make your favorite “Black Eyed Peas with Ham Hock”, or “Hoppin” John” or “Peas & Greens with Cornbread” whenever you like and you will still have all the good luck and prosperity that you need for the coming year! I am sure of it. New Rule!
A very easy & delicious “Black Eyed Pea Soup with Ham”
1 lb of dried black eyed peas, 1/4 lb mostly lean ham hock, 1 cup chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves crushed, salt & freshly ground black pepper, 2 cups chicken stock
1. Soak black eyed peas in just enough water to cover them for about 2 hours. Drain. Place peas in a stockpot with fresh water just to cover, the ham hock cut into chunks, onions, garlic cloves, salt & pepper & chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer until peas are softened, not mushy. This can take around an hour or two. Taste and adjust seasonings.
2. Serve with warm corn muffins & freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.
Bon Appetit, Buena Suerte and Happy New Year Y’all and thanks for stopping by.
Teresa Blackburn, Food on Fifth