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If you’re from the South, you’ve probably at least heard of the tradition of having black eyed peas and greens (or cabbage) on New Year’s Day. As the tradition goes, the meal is supposed to ensure good luck for the year.
There are tons of variations of the tradition. Some people make cabbage, some turn the whole mix into a soup, some hide pennies and dimes in the meal. I use Wright’s thick cut smoked bacon, others are know to use ham hock, pork jowl, turkey legs, the list goes on.
Growing up, I never really thought to ask about the origin of this tradition. It was just what we did on New Year’s Day. A couple of years ago I got curious and started looking around for more info. I found some pretty good explanations (click here or click here if you’re interested).
In a nutshell, eating black-eyed peas has been considered good luck for at least 1500 years. Also the the dried beans resemble coins. The greens whether it be collard greens, kale or cabbage, are green like money and eating them is supposed to ensure financial prosperity throughout the year. We have always added some sort of pork to ours. I’ll have to dig a little bit to see the significance behind that.
We also serve cornbread and mashed potatoes with our meal. Cornbread is supposed to symbolize gold, which is great but honestly, I just love eating cornbread with my greens. No need to make cornbread from scratch if you don’t know how. You can get my Perfect Boxed Cornbread Recipe by clicking here.
The last two years have been two of the hardest years for our family both personally and financially. Ironically enough, those were the only 2 years I didn’t make black eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide for yourself. But I’m definitely making them for 2018.
If you would like to start this tradition in your home or are just looking for a new recipe, keep reading! Here’s how I make ours.
New Year’s Day Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas
16 oz bag dried black eyed peas
4 cups chicken broth
4 slices of Wright’s thick sliced smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
Bacon grease from bacon
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse black-eyed peas and pour them into the Crock Pot.
2. Pur the remaining ingredients into the Crock Pot.
3. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours until peas are tender.
New Year’s Day Collard Greens
1 bunch fresh collard greens, rinsed and de-stemmed
5 strips Wright’s thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
Bacon grease from bacon
1 c. chopped onions
3 tsp. minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
- Rinse and de-stem greens. Then lay the leaves on top of each other in a pile.
2. Roll up the pile of greens and then cut them while they’re rolled into strips.
3. Place the cut greens in a bowl and set aside.
4. In a large pot, saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add chicken broth, red pepper, bacon and bacon grease. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25 minutes uncovered. Add greens, cover and cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve with mashed potatoes and cornbread.
Do you have a story to share about your New Year’s Day tradition? Do you eat Black-Eyed Peas and Greens too? Share in the comments, I would love to hear your tradition!
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