black eyed peas

New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas

December 31, 2014Danita

black eyed peas

Different countries around the world have traditional foods that are eaten on New Year’s Day, usually believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the New Year.  

China, Japan and other Asian countries eat long noodles.  Cuba, Spain and Portugal enjoy pork.  In the Philippines and Europe round fruits.  In Turkey it’s the pomegranate….and the list goes on.

Even in the U S we have traditional New Year’s Day foods.  Pork and sour kraut seems to be common.  When we were in Pennsylvania it was a popular Pennsylvania Dutch dish called hog maw, which is pig stomach stuffed with sausage and potatoes.  Even though we often spent New Year’s Day with friends who prepared this I never actually tried it.  The first time I experienced hog maw I was only a few weeks pregnant with my oldest daughter.  If you’ve ever been pregnant or been around someone who was, you understand it can be a very interesting time.  One thing it is NOT….the time to smell, see or try unusual foods.  Any other time I probably would have given it a try.  

In the South we tend to eat things like greens, hoppin’ john, if you’re from Georgia, chitlins (DON’T ask) or black eyed peas.

While our family firmly believes all blessings come from God and not “luck” or the result of our own actions, we do enjoy eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day…and throughout the year.  

Black-eyed peas can be purchased in several forms….fresh, frozen, dried and as a last resort…canned, which only need to be heated and not cooked as directed below.  

Cooking black-eyed peas isn’t hard, it only takes a few simple ingredients…peas, plenty of salt, water, ham…and time!

Here’s the Recipe: 

  • Black-eyed peas 
  • salt – lots
  • chunk of ham, ham hock, ham bone or bacon
  • water

*If using dried beans, soak overnight or quick soak.  Drain and use fresh water for cooking

Crock-pot method

I most often do this when cooking dried peas or beans

black eyed peas

Place peas in crock pot and cover with lots of water.  Add ham and plenty of salt, at least a teaspoon.  It’s difficult, but possible, to get too much salt.  We usually end up adding it at the table. 

Cook on low 5-6 hrs or high 3-4.  Although, it’s difficult to overcook peas.  This method is great if you can’t be home or need to do other things.

Peas pictured here are dried

Stove Top Method

Quick Soaking Dried Beans

Place peas in large pot, cover with water (2-3 inches above peas)

Add salt and ham

Bring to rolling boil

Reduce heat, peas should be at a medium boil

Cover half way with lid and boil for at least 1 hour

Check occasionally and add more water to make sure they stay covered

Again, difficult to overcook

black eyed peas

Peas pictured here were frozen

The same method for cooking applies to fresh, frozen or dried peas.

Southerners know Black-eyed peas should be served with corn bread and “liquor” or “pot liquor”….what we call the water or broth the peas are cooked in…NOT something from a bottle in the back of your closet.  Whatever you do, DON’T drain that off.  Serve peas with plenty of cooking liquid.  Open up a slice of hot corn bread, butter well, place in plate or shallow bowl, cover with peas and soak with “liquor”.   It just doesn’t get much better than that!

I pray a blessed 2015 for you and your family!






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