Black Eyed Peas: A Traditional New Years Day Meal

Believe it or not, the most traditional meal for New Year’s Day is Black eyed peas or the traditional Hoppin’ John recipe. Popular in the Southern United States, these legumes represent good fortune or money.

The ‘good luck’ tradition of eating black-eyed peas is recorded as far back as the Babylonian times, where the Jews would eat this meal during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This custom was adopted by the non-Jews during the American Civil War, and is still followed by many to this day.

Black Eyed Peas are usually served with greens such as collards or kale, as the represent paper money while the peas represent coins.

1 pound dry black-eyed peas
2 cups chopped cooked ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch garlic powder
2 onions, diced
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes

Place black-eyed peas in 8 quart pot. Add enough water to fill pot 3/4 full. Stir in ham and diced onions, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor, and blend until the tomatoes are liquefied. Add tomatoes to pot. Bring all ingredients to boil. Cover the pot, and simmer on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the peas are tender.

Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com.