Want better luck in the new year? Eat your black-eyed peas - KCTV5 News

Want better luck in the new year? Eat your black-eyed peas

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The superstition likely started in the Civil War when Sherman's rampaging army destroyed crops except those of the humble black-eyed pea.

And many Southern grandmothers have ordered their descendents to eat their black-eyed peas on New Year's Day to ensure they have luck and/or prosperity in the coming months.

The peas are served with greens or cabbage. The peas are suppose to represent coins while the greens represent your "greenbacks" or paper money.

Add cornbread to strike gold. If your peas include stewed tomatoes you are suppose to get wealth and health.

Some call the dish "Hoppin John."

The lowly black-eyed pea, which are really beans, are a good source of nutrition because they are in low in fat, calories and sodium and contain no cholesterol.

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Here's a recipe to ensure you have good luck and lots of money in 2013!


2 cans Black-eyed Peas

1 bag Frozen Greens (mustard or collard are most traditional)

1 Ham Hock

1 can diced tomatoes (optional)

 Pour contents of both cans of peas into a medium sized sauce pan. Add ham hock, cover and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. Remove ham hock, pick out the pieces of meat and add back into the pot with the beans. Wash greens thoroughly, slice into ribbons and add to the beans. Simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

 Cornbread with Black-eyed Peas and Ham

 1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 can black-eyed peas (10 oz can, drained and rinsed)

1 cup diced ham

 Preheat oven to 400°. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan or cast iron skillet. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Add diced ham and black-eyed peas and stir lightly. Pour batter into prepared pan.

 Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

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