Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Black Eyed Peas Recipe Cooked on New Years Eve 2009

As a kid growing up, I never could understand why we always had to have black eyed peas on New Year's Day. Mom always cooked them on New Years Eve to serve on New Year's Day. Of course, she told us we had to eat the black eyed peas or we would have bad luck for an entire year. The "bad luck" ruse lasted until I was about 10 and then outgrew the notion that a pea would bring me luck. I still had to eat the black eyed pea recipe that mom would fix, but it no longer held the promise of a lucky year.

Looking back, I think mom liked the family bonding time. From my teenage years on our family was too scattered to eat together regularly. Holidays always brought us back together though. I think that's why mom insisted we get together for black eyed peas (along with greens and cornbread) on New Year's Day.

The black eyed pea recipe that she would follow is one used by most Southern moms.

Start soaking the bag of dried black eyed peas the day before New Years. On New Year's Eve you toss a ham bone into the largest pot you can find. Add in the soaked black eyed peas and enough water to cover everything well. Stir in a chopped onion. Cook on high until the water boils. Then turn it down to a simmer. Stir often to keep it from sticking. When the beans are soft enough to eat tun off the heat. Let everything sit until it's cool. Then put it in the refrigerator overnight.

On New Year's Day take the pot out of the refrigerator, put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking. While the black eye pea recipe is heating, cook your cornbread and greens. By the time these are finished the peas will be piping hot.

You don't have to cook the peas on New Years Day. Mom did that because she swore they tasted better. I think she's right. The black eyed peas of my childhood taste a lot better than the canned ones I feed my family. This year though, I think I'm going to try her recipe.

Have a happy new year!