Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year!

My dad is a Southerner, born in Kentucky, a self acclaimed red-neck and proud of it. When I asked him for a pot and pan set for the sandbox (I would have been about 5 then) he told me they were girl toys, quashing my nerdy foodieness for a time. He was a normal man with a regular blue collar job. My mom did most of the cooking, we had a pretty normal household for the 60s and 70s when I was a kid. One of the things that my mom couldn't stand is Black eyed Peas... there is a Southern tradition that eating black eyed peas on new-years day is good luck so dad was pretty insistent.

This January 1 I made them for me and my family, I did a little research and about black eyed peas I found that they are a southern tradition for good luck and prosperity and eaten with pork to symbolize moving forward (a chicken walks backward when it eats, a cow stands still but a pig roots forward). I made the black eyed peas to highlight a dish from my youth, now I am going with they really are good luck.

This New Years Day I made a family breakthrough, it probably wouldn't sound that big if I went into all the details but it was. Miss El (my 11 year old) had a great time too which is what it is all for. I had a chance to see her playing with Miss Lu and Mr. Man, we haven't been able to do that in a while. The way their laughter filled our little house while she was here... well it is hard to describe but really nice.

The Good Luck Featured Dish
Ham and Black Eyed Peas:

1/2 pound of dried Black Eyed Peas
Ham Bone and end pieces left over from Christmas (see last post)
1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 bunch of Mustard Greens washed really well and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Start by soaking the beans overnight in the refrigerator
The next day trim the usable portion of the ham off the bone put the bone, the onion cut into large pieces, and the garlic into the chicken broth and let it simmer for about 3 hours. Take the bones and the big hunks of onion out and add the Black Eyed Peas add some water or chicken broth if you need too I didn't this time simmer for another half hour or so then add the greens (the tradition says that represents more money in the next year we will see). Then simmer for another 20 minutes add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. My Dad who was not a Southerner also insisted we have black eyed peas every New Years's Day and though I am not a fan of them they are on my table every year. And we have the ham, the lovely brown sugar, pineapple glazed ham ....and the gravy. Liam and Holden's friend, Jesse, came over New Year's Night, bummed because he had thought he had missed the ham but he had not. One happy 15 year old man cub. And he got to be there to read last year's resolutions and put one in this year's envelope.

  2. Glad the man cub enjoyed! I liked the black eyed peas this time. Everybody looked at me like I was eating snails though... eh more for me. So tell me, resolutions? what do you have?

  3. Last year was to buy a house which I did; this year is to start the repairs on said house...and to work more at my writing.

  4. Must admit we never have black eyed peas on New Years. We're not a southern family, so never got into the habit. I'm liking your recipe, though, very much. Maybe next year....

    And yes, I agree. Seeing children play and laugh is what it's all about!
    Happy New Year!

  5. I didn't know about serving the peas with pork! Interesting!

  6. Oh, I love the story about the pig moving forward. Thanks for sharing.