Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's Not Too Late for Some Good Luck and Prosperity With Black-eyed Peas and Ham

Black-eyed peas for luck? Yep. . . .Back in the 30s, you were lucky if you had anything in the pot. . . .
Greens and Cornbread for prosperity? Yep. . . .Greens for money--Cornbread for gold. . . .

It wouldn't be New Years Day around here without  Black-eyed Peas, Greens, and Cornbread--a Southern tradition that goes way back in our folklore. . . .My Grandmother Magers wouldn't start a year without them. She'd say she wasn't superstitious, but why take a chance?

She has a point there. . . .

The black-eyed pea recipe I use is related to the Creole/Cajun food of Louisiana. It probably comes from both the French American hunter/traders in this area during the 19th century and the African Americans who came to work here from Mississippi and Louisiana. By the early 20th century, dishes like this were common in all the farm households. To this day, you'll find black-eyed peas cooking on the back burner of most kitchen stoves to bring in the New Year.

Over the years, I've changed it a little to suit my own taste. Many variations are possible, depending on what's in the pantry. Each cook develops her own seasoning technique. But, the basics are always the same. 

Dried Black-eyed Peas

Black-eyed Peas with Tomatoes & Sausage or Ham
from Irene Magers Duncan & The Farmer's Daughter 

The seven basics: 
black-eyed peas, meat for seasoning, onion, garlic, 
tomatoes, hot pepper +/or hot sauce, bay leaf. 
The rest of the list may be adjusted to taste.

"Throw in a pot", 2 cans or approximately 3 1/2 cups cooked 
and drained black-eyed peas 
(or red beans, black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans). 
Add a little chopped smoked sausage, ham,
 or bacon for seasoning; 1/2-1 chopped onion; 
a clove or 2 of garlic, minced; 1 can, 1 pint or 2 cups tomatoes; 
1 tsp. red pepper; 1 tsp. black pepper; 11/2 tsp. hot sauce; 1 small bay leaf.

I also add chopped celery, parsley, oregano, 
Worcestershire sauce (1 T.), Salt to taste.

Let simmer until the flavors combine and the vegetables are cooked. 
Don't stir too much--peas will be mushy. 
Try serving it on a bed  of rice for a real treat.

Whether you eat a spoonful or the whole pot, I hope this year brings you Good Luck, Good Health, and as much Prosperity as you can handle!

from my farmhouse kitchen to yours. . . .


Old Time Cindy said...

Stopping by to wish you bushels of country blessings in the new year!
Farmhouse hugs,

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I've been reading about black-eyed peas for good luck and now you've filled me in on the story behind it. Being a Northerner, I've never heard of this before. Happy New Year!

A Few Pennies said...

That recipe sounds yummy; good for any wintery day. Wishing you lots of prosperity and good fortune for 2013--and lots of your lovely postings, which I soooo admire. Happy New Year! ~patty~

Pamela Gordon said...

I have never heard of this 'superstition' regarding black eyed peas before. An interesting story. I have never had black eyed peas and don't even know if they are available up here in Canada. I wish you blessings for this new year. Pamela

Eggs In My Pocket said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Wishing you a blessed New Year!

Barbara F. said...

This recipe sounds delicious, not really a fan of beans, but if it will bring me good fortune, I think a spoonful of beans will do me a lot of good! Happy 2013! xo

Jeannie said...

This Texan is having Texas Caviar tiday...aka...bkack eyed pe dip. I even won over my northern bred SIL to eat them.

Jeannie said...


Junkchiccottage said...

What a great way to start out the new year. I love this recipe and the story behind it. I am a Northern girl but a wanna be Southern Girl so I love this!!!! Yumtastic.

Unknown said...

Just finished our peas, cornbread, turnip greens, and some whipped potatoes. Yummy!! Love the sound of your recipe. May have to try it!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Sounds yummy. Ours turned out great, too.

Happy New Year!!

Chenille Cottage said...

How delicious! The first time I had black eyed peas and greens was when I lived in Hawaii and my southern neighbor introduced me to it on New Years Day. What a treat! /she also introduced me to her "Monkey Dust". She drizzled it on the black eyed peas at dinner. She added dried hot chilis to a glass jar of white vinegar. She did it months before and let it cure. It added a great additional flavor to an already spectacular meal.

I'm glad you shared, my friend!
Carolynn xxx

cynthia lee designs said...

Sounds Yummy!!
Happy New Year!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Oh my friend, dare I admit that I have never had black eyed peas? I have had and do make ham and beans. Does that count for anything? lol! Having food on the pot and full bellies is a blessing. I am watching Larkrise to Candlefor (for the 2nd time). I realize that we are such a blessed people! Wishing you lots of joy, happiness, and of course fun!

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