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Friday, December 30, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with Black-eyed Peas


One of my favorite traditions is ringing in the New Year with a crockpot full of Black-eyed peas (also known as Hoppin' Johns). It is a Southern Tradition. The lore goes that if you start the New Year by eating a bowl of black-eyed peas, it will bring you luck in the year ahead. If you add collard greens with the black-eyed peas you might also get rich.

The problem with my tradition is that I learned it the unhealthy way, packed full of grease and fatty ham hocks. Now I am in search of a healthier version that is still flavorful and satisfying of our long standing tradition. I think I have found two great new recipes. One uses bacon for the rich flavor and the other uses pork loin meat in place of the ham hock. They both include greens as part of the recipe so we are covered on the "might get rich" part of the ingredient. Here are links to the two recipes: Black-eyed Peas with Smoked Bacon and Greens from Cooking Light and Black-eyed Peas with Pork and Greens from Eating Well. Let me know which one you tried and whether you liked it or not!

We spend New Year's day lounging in our PJs, playing games we got for Christmas or that are our time honored favorites. We usually get out a puzzle to work on too. We have a few friends over to join in the causal fun. And then mid-afternoon we all partake of the Black-eyed Peas and Greens. It is a great way to ring in the New Year. Happy New Year to You!