New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

One New Year’s tradition in the South is eating black-eyed peas for good luck.

Many decades ago I vacationed in San Antonio with my parents and younger sister. Our family vacations were all about food. I remember going to New Orleans for upscale seafood–we dined at Antoine’s one evening with a family friend who had his own waiter there. The gulf coast was for shrimp. And Texas was for then-exotic Mexican food.

One night at the Little Rhein Steakhhouse in San Antonio we were served an amuse-bouche of black-eyed peas. The whole family loved them and they were the highlight of the night. After we returned to Franklin, my mother wrote to the steakhouse for the recipe.

They responded with the following:

5 lb dried black-eyed peas

1.5 gallons water

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1 lb butter

1/2 cup Lowery’s seasonall

2 1/2 tablespoon salt

3/4 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon pepper

Soak peas for two hours. Place in ovenproof dish with all other ingredients. Cook at 325  for 2 hours.

So–you probably don’t want to cook five pounds of peas. I cook one or two and cut the recipe accordingly. Be warned–sometimes two hours isn’t enough.And I add a country ham hock.

My parents used to make this for New Year’s–they’d have an open house-type party where people could come have a drink, some peas and watch some football. Cumin was a foreign commodity and had to be purchased in Nashville.

So–if you’re in the mood for a New Year’s good luck charm, try the black-eyed peas.

And best to you in 2012.


Filed under At Home, Food/Cooking, Nostalgia

10 responses to “New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

  1. anne rutherford

    Dont stir = that makes them mushy-they really are good. We had separate bowls to serve them to each guest.

  2. Cumin makes the world go round, at least in my book. This sounds good!

  3. Anne (aka Mother)–yes, I forgot to say “don’t stir.” That’s crucial.
    Susie–You should start the tradition in Connecticut.

  4. Reading this makes me wish we had a food tradition for New Year.

  5. My dad is from Texas. I thought he nicked this idea from one of the other more truly southern states. For years he has been making the new years day good luck black eyed peas (I think he calls it ‘Hopping John’). I’m sorry to be a wet blanket, but I just never much liked them. I think they were forced on me when I still had a child’s palate and I’ve just never overcome the injustice of it. I’m glad others are enjoying it though! Happy New Year to all in Franklin! xx

  6. Julie

    Yes, the south has lots of tornadoes, mosquitos, bad drivers, and polyester. But if it weren’t for black-eyed peas, why, we just couldn’t rise to the level of greatness that we have. Long Live Black-Eyed Peas!

  7. a grand tradition! mom used to make black eyed peas and cornbread for new years day…

  8. Sparky/Pat

    I just finished my cheating recepie using canned black eyes. I wish I had seen the cumin before now. Next year. Thanks so much for your gentle blog. Happy New Year.

  9. Durdlin–Thanks for stopping by. Surely there’s something unique to Brisbane? Something made with beer perhaps?
    Ellie–Hopping John is correct, but I’ve never really liked it…too much rice. Here’s to a great 2012 for you and yours.
    Julie–We don’t have THAT much polyester any more, do we?
    DF–I enjoyed reading about your travels. Where are you off to next?
    Sparky–Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. In the summer I love fresh purple hull peas best and fill the freezer with them. But I always end up using dried peas for New Year’s. I hope yours were delicious and bring you much good luck.

  10. Happy new year , Franklin.

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