In the South, lots of folks welcome the New Year with superstitions as well as watching the ball drop with a fizzy toast. Some people leave their Christmas tree up until after New Year’s Day. Some say it has to come down before the clock strikes midnight to change their luck for next year. For generations, Southerners have eaten special foods for the new year to try to bring money, luck, and health. The most popular food we eat is black-eyed peas. But where does this tradition come from?
Hoping for a Good Year
According to tradition, black-eyed peas bring luck. If you need some extra cash, collard greens represent money and cornbread symbolizes gold. There are lots of variations, like serving black-eyed peas with tomatoes to bring health and wealth or including ham for even more luck. If those sound good to you, keep reading to learn how to make these lucky foods for yourself.
Black-Eyed Peas Recipe
Even though you may enjoy black-eyed peas all year long, there is a traditional way to make them for New Year’s. This recipe from Allrecipes.com includes ham and tomatoes, so you can be sure to have all your good luck bases covered.
1 pound dry black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth
8 cups water
1 pound smoked ham hocks
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
5 pepperoncini peppers
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
salt and pepper to taste
- Place the black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
- In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook and stir onion and garlic in olive oil until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and 8 cups water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in soaked black-eyed peas, ham hocks, tomatoes, pepperoncini, bay leaf, garlic powder, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, ham meat is falling off the bones, and the broth is thickened, about 3 hours.
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Kirk Brothers Supercenter
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