Will black eyed peas be among the dishes on your New Year’s Day table? Those of us who live in the “South” think of it as a true Southern tradition and wouldn’t be without the customary good luck charm on our tables. But whose “eye”-dea was that they bring us a prosperous new year?
Different stories swirl around as to their origin and why we believe they bring luck and prosperity. I have come to believe that no one knows for certain what is fact and what is folklore! History is at odds on this one. Some believe it is a Jewish tradition from ancient days. Others believe that it is rooted in African culinary experiences, while still yet others believe that it was a crop of the American South planted for animal feed but made it way to the Southern table because that was all the Union soldiers left behind during Civil War days. The only common theme is that they all believed that the humble black eyed pea brings us luck and prosperity for the New Year.
For me, true prosperity comes from giving. I’ve long loved the Scripture verse found in Proverbs 11:25. A generous man will prosper. He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Sharing brings prosperity to our hearts. Oh, how I like the sounds of that! So let’s not only think of ourselves, but of others as we start the new year. And we can still have fun with the tradition of creating something fun with that little pea.
So, let’s talk about what’s a delicious way to serve it up! Probably the most popular and Southern way to serve the black eyed pea is to cook it up with ham seasonings and a “mess of greens.” I take pleasure in giving it a whole new life as the main ingredient in my Black-Eyed Pea & Roasted Carrot Tostada:
However you decide to serve up black eyed peas this New Year’s Day, I wish you a year full of sharing good times and good foods with family and friends around your table.
from my table to yours,