I hope you all kicked off the new year right with the appropriate New Year’s Day foods. That’s right. In case you didn’t know, there are foods that are considered lucky and unlucky for the first day of a new year. I read an interesting article about it a few days before and made sure I did it right this year.
There is an old adage that you should “eat poor on the first day of the year to eat rich the rest.” The traditional foods for new years day are black eyed peas and collard greens. The peas are representative of coins and the collard greens represent cash, because of their green color. All over the world people eat beans and green things on the first day of the year, though the specifics vary from place to place. Oh, and cornbread is a proper accompaniment, as it is of course, gold in color.
I also did not know until I read this article that there are bad luck foods for the new year. You aren’t supposed to eat chicken, because when they scratch the ground they do it moving backwards, which means that you would be moving backwards in your year and not forward. You also are not supposed to eat lobster, because they also move backwards.
I was staying with my boyfriend’s family over the New Year holiday and we decided to cook dinner for his parents. Since our visits are generally short, I’ve never had the opportunity to cook for them. So, we did it up right. We made spicy black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread, pork chops, and finished with an apple pie.
After eating our fabulous meal, we were all too stuffed to eat the pie right away. (It was the Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie that I’m apparently addicted to.) My boyfriend and I went to go visit his brother, and a few hours later he got a text from his mom saying the pie was “Spectacular.”
Needless to say, I was pleased as pie.
Anyways, back to the main meal. The spicy black-eyed peas recipe came from Paula Deen. I found it online that afternoon, as I had never made black-eyed peas before, and figured Paula was the kind of person to trust with an item like this. They were wonderful. The pork chops were good, but all I really wanted was a big bowl of the peas and greens. They were so good! I’m pretty sure I’m set on the good luck front for this year now. Thanks Paula!
These were really easy to make. My boyfriend made them while I was doing the greens, so I can’t really take any credit for them. But, they will be my staple next New Years. (Minor adjustments are added in the ingredient list.)
If you haven’t had your peas and greens, I bet it isn’t too late for some good luck. Give these a try.
Spicy Black-Eyed Peas from Paula Deen
Total Time: 1 hr 30 min.
Prep: 30 min.
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16-ounce) package dried black-eyed peas, washed
1 (12-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles- (We used Rotel.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water (We made ours with chicken stock for extra flavor.)
In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, crumble, and set aside to use as a topping for the peas. Saute the onion in the bacon drippings until tender. Add the peas, diced tomatoes and green chiles, salt, chili powder, pepper and water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the peas are tender. Add additional water, if necessary. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon.