There is a tradition in the Southern US to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. The idea is that eating this food will give you good luck throughout the year. I grew up in the south and I don't remember having black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. But there are a lot of traditional Southern foods I don't remember having much until I got out to California. Grits is one. Now I do remember corn bread and pulled pork barbecue.
This is my husband's variation on Hoppin' John, which he will be preparing for our New Year's Day dinner.
1. Break up sausage and cook until done.
- 1 lb. mild bulk sausage
- 1 large onion
- 1 med. green bell pepper
- 3 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 - 15 oz. cans black-eyed peas, undrained
- cooked brown rice
2. While sausage is cooking add onion, bell pepper, garlic and seasonings.
3. While sausage is cooking, heat black-eyed peas separately.
4. When sausage is fully cooked, add rice to the proportions you prefer (we add about 3 cups.)
5. Serve rice/sausage mixture as a base and spoon desired amount of beans on top.
The results are wonderful. It is relatively quick, depending on when and how you fix the rice. Our recipe is Glen's own invention, but we have had Hoppin' John soup, and other variations of Hoppin' John over the years.
Black-eyed peas can be purchased fresh (hard to find), dried, canned, or frozen. All versions are good. The dried beans take longer to cook but can be cooked to order, with seasoning. There is information at Dr. Weil's site for cooking with black-eyed peas.