The tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Years can originally be linked to the Jewish New Year, Rosh-Hashana, which called for eating the legumes because they were marked with the Jewish symbol of good luck.
In addition, the practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.
Besides all this, they're very yummy! And good for you!
Here's my easy-black-eyed-peasy recipe for New Year's good luck. I made these today, but like all bean dishes, they're best on the second or third day. We'll be eating these tomorrow with some corn bread, which is a good luck symbol for gold on New Year (to be eaten with the lucky legumes).
If you don't have time to do these in a crock-pot, no worries. Just cook them on a simmer on your stovetop until they are nice and tender (bring to boil first, then reduce to simmer)
Happy New Year!
Easy Black-Eyed Peasy
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 ham bone (or 1 1/2 cups cooked, chopped ham)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet of Goya Ham Seasoning
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Place all ingredients in a crock-pot and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until tender. Remove ham bone and pick off all meat; return ham meat to crock-pot. Serve hot with cornbread or stewed greens (or both!).