New Years Day: Black Eyed Peas

“Southern tradition holds that the first food to be eaten on New Year’s Day should be black-eyed peas for luck and prosperity — specifically, one pea for each day of the year. To really ensure a good year, add a mess o’ greens for wealth…” – unknown


I was raised on this tradition. My mother and my grandmother made black eyed peas every single new years day from the time I was born. If fact, I can remember my mom complaining about how hard it was to find black eyed peas in the supermarkets when we first moved to Los Angeles. What a lil Southern belle.

I have always loved family traditions. I think those of you that have read my blog for the last few years know this by now! It is what draws me in to to food. The history, the love, the memories… That is what I feel for black eyed peas. It’s not that I necessarily love them all that much, but I love the memories I have associated with them.

black eyed peas

I can remember going to James Coney Island (any southern gal knows what this is) with my family one new years day and my grandmother pulling out a tupperware container of her little black eyed peas. We had all been craving chili dogs but she simply would not let the day pass her by without her black eyed peas tradition staking it’s claim.

She is long gone by now but her impact certainly is not. It makes it’s way in to my life all the time but mainly through food.

So in honor of the late and great Mrs. Amy… here is my favorite way to enjoy black eyed peas…with an egg on top, just like my Mama would do.

First, I start off with some oil and diced onion…I get it nice and soft…


Then I add some turkey back (or regular bacon, pancetta, ham) and garlic…

turkey bacon and garlic

RINSE YOUR BLACK EYED PEAS WELL! Then add then to the pot with your chicken stock, tomato and spices.

chicken stock

Once that has simmered for awhile, add the “mess o’ greens”….


Black eyed peas with a fried egg

3 c black eyed peas
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
5 strips turkey bacon, cut in 1 ” pieces
4 small Roma tomatoes, diced
5 stems of kale
4 c chicken broth
1-2 c water (if needed)
1 tsp chili powder
Big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 T lemon juice
*Fried eggs
In a large stock pot, sautee onion & turkey bacon. Once onion is translucent, add garlic. Sautee 2 mins. Rinse black eyed peas in a strainer then add to pot. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and seasonings. Let simmer 40 mins. Add additional water (1 cup at a time) if needed. Add kale and let soften in to the peas for 10 mins. Serve with a fried egg on top… And a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
black eyed peas