January 1, 2009

Peas, Please

The black-eyed variety. In our neck of the Hill Country, it's a long-standing rule that the natives must eat black-eyed peas between midnight on the first day of the new year and 11:59 PM of the same day. This is to ensure that we all have good luck for another 12 months -- at which time, we must again immunize ourselves against the funky fickle finger of fate with another oral dose of black-eyed peas.

Naturally, if good luck isn't a concern for you, there's no point in forcing yourself to swallow. (After all, those little black eyes watch you the whole time you scoop them up and shove them in. Once, I think I even heard them scream.) And if, like me, you're not really a native, but a transplant, then you must weigh the folklore for yourself and decide if it's worth the possibility of fracturing that mirror just when you got all your bills paid. The redneck jury is still out on whether seven years of bad luck can be trumped by legumes with peep holes, but why take chances?

Me, I generally follow the rules, if not the superstitions (unless I don't like them). So today, as I do on this day every year, I will eat my black-eyed peas. It's an acquired taste that's taken me, oh, about 20 years to acquire. To prevent gagging (and feeling guilty), I enjoy my good-luck fiber in a savory dish called Texas Caviar. It's actually quite tasty, and since one can never be too careful with lucky breaks, I won't be shy about getting seconds.

What about you? Double or nothin'? Or shall I pass the black-eyed peas?

19 comments:

R Susanna said...

I am doomed, I didn't feel like eating black eyed peas or ham or any type of the our normal good luck traditional foods. We had cheese burgers! That's going to be our new good luck tradition.

ldbeams said...

hahahaha. I do black eyed peas also. My mom has done them my whole life. She probably picked it up from when we lived in the South. Even if I make an actual dinner, we always have the peas. I figure I can use all the help I can get! LOL.

ldbeams said...

P.s. Congrats on the new blog. I'll be anxiously waiting to see what this one will hold. The intro sounds very interesting.

Vodka Mom said...

I LOVE black eyes peas. And they smell a HELL of a lot better than sauerkraut - which is what we've been eating for two days. P.U.

Charmaine said...

Are you saying that black eyed peas are white?

Heck, I live in California. I don't think we HAVE black eyes peas. hee hee

Sweet Cheeks said...

I'm afraid I won't be eating the peas, but I do have to kiss my hubby for good luck, or the whole year is ruined!
Cute blog, I'll visit ya often! :)

Captain Dumbass said...

Should have had some of that before I came home with the clown.

Irish Gumbo said...

Hey, it’s Hoppin’ John for the Hill Country! A little bit of South Carolina comes to Texas. I’m originally from Virginia, and many folks there like their black-eyed peas, but they were never a fixture in my house on the holidays. What we seemed to have were ‘greens’: collards and/or kale.

I didn’t learn to appreciate greens until I was an adult, when I finally had them fixed properly! (No slur intended on my Moms or my G-maw).

My NYE dish for the past two years has been seafood chowder with potatos and corn. Yumm. I reckon this year will be a ‘double or nothing’ year. And I intend to slant my odds heavily in favor of double!

Thank you so much for stopping by Irish Gumbo: I appreciate the eyes on the page. Here’s to a great year!

Peace,
IG

Breathe said...

Seriously what you gringos do. It's all about the refried for me. And a lard infused flour tortilla. Maybe I could have snuck one in there if there was enough salsa involved.

Here's to 2009 - have you read any faces yet? :)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Over here in Hawaii, there mostly Asian traditions. My husband is part Chinese, so noodles are teh good luck food for New Year's. In local culture, Japanese food dominates for New Year's as well, everyone eats mochi and sashimi.

Thank-you for your comment over on my blog. I'd try the clapping, but my mom lives 3,000 miles away. Is there a phone call equivalent?

Debbie said...

I actually like black-eyed peas and love that Texas Caviar dish. But, since we were driving all day, I didn't get to eat any. I guess I can be the guinea pig to see if my luck holds or not!

Fragrant Liar said...

I've had a hefty helping of my Texas Caviar everyday for the last three days. I'm not taking any chances, guys. Plus, it keeps getting tangier, bathing in all that Eye-talian dressing. Even though black-eyed peas rule the good-luck netherworld, I'm sure whatever else you're eating will, uh, SAVE you from bad stuff. Um, yes, I'm sure of it.

;) Thanks for stopping by my new site, y'all.
Hakuna matata.

nikkicrumpet said...

I've never tasted a black eyed pea. I'm hoping that since I'm a Yankee it doesn't count! Thanks for stopping by...your comment gave me a good laugh! And your refund is in the mail!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

In Indiana, the goodluck New Year's food is cabbage. Maybe there are just a lot of southern bloggers, but black eyed peas wins the day, for sure.

Charmaine said...

I need to know more about how your hubby was 16 years younger.

Tell me...I REALLY want to know.

Braja said...

OMG, I come to this blog by accident and all my friends are here already!! Gotta love a woman who calls 'em libations and has Janie, Vodka, Irish, Charmaine, Debbie, Crumpet, Pseudo, and Captain Dumbass in their comments box: like old home week. . .and any friend of their's is a friend of mine...see you often...

SSP said...

Hedgie sent me over too! So, i bought the can, and the little paper eyes are still staring at me. I don't suppose it counts that I BOUGHT them, does it? I have to actually INGEST them??? I am doomed.....and I knew there was a cabbage superstition in there somewhere...i had no idea it was a yankee/indiana thing....I will delete it fer shure :-)

Fragrant Liar said...

Nikki: No pain, no gain. Buy a can of black-eyed-peas and see what I mean...

2nd Cup: I thought Indianans ate tailgating food in dishes with big red IU letters on 'em for good luck. No?

Charmaine: Even though the hubby was 16 years younger, I convinced him that black-eyed peas were good for him. Kids, you know how gullible they are . . .

Braja: Welcome, welcome. It's a partay!

SSP: Beans or cabbage, either way, it stinks.

Debbie said...

I make mine into a salad. Just rinse off the canned BEPs and cut up your favorites ... celery, red sweet pepper, tomato, carrots, cucumbers - even some pasta shells if you like. Drench it in Good Seasonings Italian dressing and let it sit overnight. It's actually very good (probably because you can't taste the BEPs.