Well, being from Virginia I have been brought up on the tradition of eating Black-eyed peas every New Years day for good luck. Now, as the years have past and I have children of my own, I still do this tradition. I dont do the traditional recipe with Black-eyed peas called Hoppin John with involves cooking the peas with a hamhock. This year I did a couple of different things: A Vegetarian style "Hoppin John" and a black bean and black-eyed pea salad. Both Delicious!
I am sure some of you know already, but I though I would share, what I know to be the origin of this tradition: It has been said that eating black-eyed peas for luck dates back to the Civil War. General Sherman thought them to be a humble crop and would not steal them as he did with corn, collards and other crops. Perhaps this was the luck of the pea as it became a major food source.
Now, not being a superstitious person, I still find that year after year I continue to eat this savory little bean on New years day. In a conversation with my brother on New Years day he has decided not to eat the bean and see how his luck goes. I think he is going to do fine beans or no beans! I wish him and everyone the best in 2012!! May you all prosper in what makes you happy
For those interested, I am including my recipes for Vegetarian Hoppin John and Black Bean and Black-eyed pea salad:
Vegetarian Hoppin John
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 cup uncooked long grain rice 2 strips tempeh bacon, chopped 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped Pinch of cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt Ground black pepper to taste Tabasco (optional)
Put black-eyed peas into a large bowl, cover with water and set aside for 6 hours or overnight.
Drain black-eyed peas, then transfer to a large pot. Add 6 cups clean water, onions and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until black-eyed peas are tender but still whole, about 45 minutes. Add rice, tempeh bacon, peppers, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with Tabasco, if you like. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Black Bean and Black-Eyed Pea Salad
2 cans corn or one bag frozen and thawed
1 can black beans
1 can black-eyed peas
1 red onion chopped
1 bunch cilantro
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together and chill.
Next Time will have photos! So good did not have time to take!