Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Don't Forget to Eat Your Black Eyed Peas

Well, here it is, New Year's Eve ... the last day of 2008. Tomorrow a whole new year begins. Regardless of how you feel about that, there is one simple step you can take within the next 24 hours to help ensure that 2009 is a stellar year:

According to Southern tradition, if you want to have good luck and prosperity for the coming year, the first food you should eat in the New Year is black eyed peas.

(Southerners are maybe a little confused. These so-called peas are actually beans.)

You can cook and eat them in a variety of ways -- cooked with ham-hocks (deep south traditional method), spicy with ham and rice ("Hoppin' John"), cooked with greens, cooked with tomatoes, in a salad, or straight out of the can -- however you like them (and even if you don't like them, you are not excused from eating them). But the essential ingredient is the black eyed peas themselves. Don't start thinking you can just eat the ham that was cooked with the black eyed peas and get the same effect.

Also, don't ignore this as a silly Southern superstition. One year my best-ever friend ignored my pleas to eat the peas, and then got into a car accident on her way home on New Years Day. Fortunately, she was sober, it was daylight, and she wasn't hurt. But unfortunately, she did have to pay to get the car repaired. She told me she would eat her black eyed peas every New Years Day from that year forward. As far as I know, she has avoided additional car wrecks.

Because the black-eyed peas must be the very first thing you eat in the new year in order to be the most effective, I highly recommend eating them just after your midnight champagne toast to the New Year, so that you won't forget, in your drunken stupor, and eat something dumb like chocolate or peanuts or french fries or other bar food before you consume the all-important black eyed peas. So if you are going out somewhere and/or you don't have time to cook them to your liking at home, bring along a can, a can opener, and a spoon, and then just open them up and eat a spoonful with your midnight glass of champagne.

Assuming you can do so without blowing your grits immediately afterwards.

Because the second Southern tradition / superstition I want to remind you of is the one that says that whatever you are doing on New Year's Eve / Day is a predictor of what you will be doing the rest of the year.

Good luck and happy new year to you all, my bloggy friends!


Dave said...

Also don't forget that this year is one second longer than the last three. So make sure you add one second after midnight to eat said peas.
Start your countdown at 11 when everyone else is at 10 to be sure.


Laura said...

You will be happy to know that I ate some! I didn't know they were suppose to be the first thing you ate though - that's a new one to me. We also have a tradition of eating hog jowl on New Years day. I'm not sure what that symbolizes but I think pork means prosperity.

Alice said...

Hey LegalMist, come on over to my blog and it will explain

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Ohhh no!! I didn't eat any black eyed peas!! But I didn't know I was supposed to..Does that count??

Angie said...

I've never heard of eating black eyed peas. I have heard to Corned Beef and Cabbage, though. Maybe because of it's association with St. Patty's day, so therefore it's lucky?

Either way, I didn't eat either. Oops.