Well, I probably should have posted this one on New Year’s Eve, on the off chance that someone not acquainted with this little tradition should want to join in. Unfortunately, I didn’t even start the cooking until yesterday morning, so you get a late post. Sorry ’bout that.
Here in the South, but particularly in Texas, we eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day. The old superstition is that eating them will bring you wealth and luck in the year ahead. While I can’t say I have ever really obtained either outcome, I can attest to the fact that I’ve never missed a year, I’ve never been too hard pressed to make ends meet, and I don’t believe in luck (there goes that half!). However, with 2009 looming ahead as a year of big changes (dissertations, grad schools, moves, and job hunts), I’m not taking my chances. So after ringing in the new year with some friends, I managed to wake up early New Year’s morning to put on a crock pot of peas.
Just throwing black-eyed peas in a pot of water with some salt and pepper and letting them cook will be delicious enough for most people. After all, they have a great flavor all by themselves. Still, as a girl who grew up on soul food and country kitchens, I know the real way to make anything taste better is by adding one of GP’s favorite flavors. Bacon.
cook time: variable, depending on how you want to do it
serves: 4 for lunch as a main dish, with maybe enough left over for a small helping at supper
20 oz dried black-eyed peas
7 cups of water
3 slices bacon, cut into half inch strips (I don’t actually eat the bacon, ’cause I like my bacon crispy, not soggy)
salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything together in a crock pot or in a large pot on the stove. Heat until cooked through. Eat, enjoy, and have a good new years day. I meant to throw in a chopped up cubanelle pepper for some extra spice, but completely forgot that I had the pepper on hand. Maybe I’ll have to throw that in when I reheat some of these peas.
Now, my crock pot never understood the fact that it is supposed to be a slow cooker, so these peas were done in about 4 hours on the high setting. If your pot is not quite so hot, start your peas in the morning and they should be plenty ready to eat by supper. Just make sure to always keep them covered with water so they don’t dry out. Easy-peasy! No pun intended.