Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

One of the stranger consequences of marrying a Southerner is the exposure to exotic cuisine and customs -- like eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.

The black-eyed peas are supposed to be bring good luck in the new year, particularly prosperity. I've blindly followed this tradition for many years. This year, I resolved to learn its origins, and why the custom never caught on up North.

According to Wikipedia,

These "good luck" traditions date back to the U.S. Civil War. Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, would typically strip the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock and destroy whatever they couldn't carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and corn suitable only for animal fodder, and as a result didn't steal or destroy these humble foods. Many Southerners survived as a result of this mistake.

Black-eyed peas, in their purest form, give vegetables a bad name. So here are a few recipes to make these legumes palatable. I'm going with the Hoppin John.

Happy New Year to all our readers. I hope that 2008 brings you and your families health, prosperity and the election of lots of conservatives.

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