Black Eyed Peas Mean Good Luck on New Year’s Day

Black Eyed Peas
Black Eyed Peas, Photo: Toby Hudson, Wikimedia Commons

For those seeking good luck and prosperity in the New Year, tradition dictates that black eyed peas be the first food consumed after the clock strikes midnight on Monday evening. Find these on the menu if you’re out and partying or dining around the East End on New Year’s or, better yet, try making some at home.

There are various ways to cook this Southern staple, so choose your favorite, find a recipe and make sure you have the dish on hand when the ball drops. Here are some preparation ideas to get you started.

Hoppin’ John is probably the most common and traditional preparation for black eyed peas on New Year’s Eve/Day. Cook the peas with rice, seasoning and some type of pork—usually ham, bacon or pork chops—then add hot sauce and chopped onions to taste.

Texas Caviar Dip is an easy way to have your guests and fellow partiers munching the right food at the start of 2013. This Southern/Mexican style dish is great for dipping chips or crusty bread. It includes black eyed peas and various chopped peppers, onions and vegetables, as well as some herbs and spices, in a vinaigrette-type dressing.

Black Eyed Pea Stew or Soup isn’t the easiest party food, but it’s a delicious choice for more civilized, sit down affairs. Mix the black eyed peas with cabbage, chicken stock, lots of Southern spices and all kinds of tasty legumes, and you’ll have an eye-rolling-good soup to bless the New Year.

Simple Black Eyed Peas can work well if you’re not a gourmand. Take some clues from the other recipes and preparations and just mix it up. It can be as easy as combining some canned black eyed peas with chopped onion, beef or chicken broth cubes, water and some chopped up kielbasa in a saucepan and simmering on the stove. Spice to taste, even with just some salt and pepper.

However you decide to prepare them, make sure to ring in the New Year right and make black eyed peas the first thing you eat in 2013.

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