Every year close to Christmas many grocery stores in the American South start selling “fresh” black eyed peas and increase their stock of collard greens in preparation for New Year’s Day. Black eyed peas and collard greens are said to represent coins and dollars, which when consumed on New Year’s Day will bring you fortune throughout the year.
Having lived in the South for close to a decade, I decided we should give in and have black eyed peas….with our cabbage (I am not abandoning my cultural heritage and traditions, just adding to them).
Black eyed peas were not something that was often found at our dinner table when I was young (okay, they weren’t found on my table most of my entire life). My older half-sister loved them, so we only had them when she was with us. Although I don’t remember how my mom cooked them, I do remember that I really did not like them.
While searching for a recipe, I decided just to make them with some of the same ingredients I was using to make the cooked cabbage. The result was the best black eyed peas I have ever eaten.