Black -eyed peas for luck and greens for prosperity. When I was a kid I didn’t like black-eyed peas but my parents made sure that I ate at least one on New Year’s Day for luck in the new year. They weren’t superstitious but it was a tradition that they had always followed and so I would too. I still do. I also have the greens for prosperity. To tell the truth, I haven’t ever become a millionaire with this method but I’m afraid of what would happen if I didn’t have the black-eyed peas and greens. It’s too scary to contemplate so I just don’t tempt fate.
Actually, I like black-eyed peas now. I rarely make them anymore but I never miss making them for New Year’s Day.
Southern Black-Eyed Peas
I have left-over ham to use in this recipe. A ham bone or ham hock could be used as well.
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight in water
1 tablespoon, bacon grease, ham drippings or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup chopped yellow onion
5 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
Brown the ham in the bacon grease, drippings or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic, cayenne, salt and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with greens and cornbread.