When I was young, my mother, how shall I say this...ahem, forced us to eat black eyed peas, cornbread and greens every New Year's Day. See, my mom, is from the South. Texas, actually, which is not the same as the deep South, but they can drawl with the best of them. And, you've never truly met a good ole boy, until you've met a good ole boy from Texas, they are something special.
On a completely tangential note -- my mother is so Southern, she has this uncanny radar for all things south of the Mason-Dixon line. Example: If the phone rings and someone with a long, slow, syrupy, wrap you up in love southern accent happens to be on the other end, she knows. She knows even before she picks up the receiver and her not as deeply buried as you might think Texas honey tongue makes an appearance with her very first, "heeeelllllllloooow."
Anyway, many in the South believe that if you eat black eyed peas, cornbread and greens on New Year's Day you'll have good luck, good fortune and prosperity in the coming year. It's just superstition, but it can't hurt, I guess. Now, I'm not so much a fan of the black eyed peas. Cornbread? No problem. Greens with plenty of butter and salt, emphasis on the plenty? Also, absolutely doable. But, the beans? I really, really don't like them. But, I choked them down. Every. Year. And, truthfully, I've been pretty fortunate in my life, so maybe it was the beans?
And, if it wasn't, how will I ever know?
Which leads me to my post-Mom calling the shots life. Now, every year on New Year's Day I serve my own little family a healthy serving of, that's right, black eyed peas, cornbread and greens (we've opted for spinach as our green of choice). And, I, ahem, force them to eat up. And, they choke it all down, unhappily to be sure, but still down it goes. The funny thing is, I still don't like black eyed peas. Not even a little bit. But, as I said, what if all my good fortune can be traced back to this meal? If it ain't broke, well, you know.
This year I tried a new recipe. And, I liked it. I probably won't serve it again...until next year, that is. But, it was good, no choking required. Even by the little people in my house.
Paired with a side of cornbread muffins and everyone was happy to partake.
Look, all smiles! Okay, so they hadn't started eating yet,
but eventually they cleaned their plates, mostly.
Here's to another year of good luck, good fortune and prosperity!