New Year’s Eve comes with a host of traditions and superstitions. Even if you’re not superstitious, we think there’s no harm in having a little fun with traditions that have been followed around the world for centuries.
What, you couldn’t use a little more health, happiness, and prosperity in the form of, say, dumplings and pretzels?
If you grew up in black home you know that Black Eye Peas was definitely on the menu.
There are a variety of myths as to where the tradition of eating black-eyed peas comes from, but whichever you believe in, they all say the beans will bring good luck in the form of money in the New Year. As the saying goes, if you “eat poor on New Year’s, [you’ll] eat fat the rest of the year”.Different possible origin stories exist for this tradition. The first version is popular, albeit historically improbable: During the Civil War, having swept through and ravaged the Confederate Army’s food supplies, the Union Army largely had ignored the fields of undesirable black-eyed peas, which were then primarily a food for livestock. Left with little else to eat, Southerners relied on this filling ingredient to survive the winter despite the challenging wartime conditions, and black-eyed peas went down in history as a lifesaving grace. Here is a simple recipe
BLACK EYE PEAS
- 1 lb. dry black-eyed peas
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 serrano peppers, sliced (optional)
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 lb. smoked pork neck bones
- 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth or water
- Cooked greens or cabbage, for serving
- Cornbread, for serving
- Hot sauce, for serving
- Step In a large bowl, combine peas and baking soda and add water to cover by at least 4″. Cover and let soak for at least 6 hours and up to overnight. Once fully hydrated, rinse beans and drain completely.
- Step In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, garlic, celery, serrano (if using), jalapeño, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
- Step Push vegetables to the edge and make a empty well in the middle of the pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the well, then add in all the spices and stir spices until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in pork, peas, and broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Step Partially cover pot with a lid, and let simmer until peas are tender, about 35 minutes. To concentrate broth, remove lid and continue cooking until liquid has reduced to desired consistency, 10 to 20 minutes more.
- Step Serve with greens, cornbread, and hot sauce, if desired.