Traditions mean a LOT to me – I think they help us hold on to our past and always remember where we came from and who helped shape us. There are some traditions that are family related, some that are regionally related, and some that no one really knows where they got their start! According to my research: eating Black-Eyed-Peas for a Prosperous (and lucky) New Year is one that most likely started during the Civil War in the South since the beans were not destroyed by the Northerners and therefor the Southerners had enough food to survive (the pork for luck and the beans for prosperity). This tradition also dates back as far as Rich can remember in his family (along with burning of bayberry candles).
So in order to give us a prosperous lucky year… I present to you: New Years Day dinner 2011 (keeping to Rich’s mother’s traditional recipe while spicing it up a little bit by own way with some online inspiration). We welcome 2011 with open arms and open stomaches…
Recipe (my version – stay tuned for 2012 for me to use Rich’s mom’s version)
- 1 can black-eyed peas
- 1/2 package bacon, cut into bite-size pieces before cooking
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 slices left-over Christmas ham
- 1 can (at least 14 oz – feel free to use 28 oz) chopped tomato
- black pepper, to taste
- few dash Tabasco sauce
- 1 cup quick-cook white rice
Sauté bacon until cooked; add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is tender. Add the ham and cook until that is lightly browned. To the same large pan: Add the peas and tomatoes. Mix well. Add about a cup of water and then mix in your rice. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, taste and season to your liking!
I hope that 2011 brings you much luck and prosperity. But remember, as Roman philosopher Seneca said “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”