{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Did ya eat your black eyed peas, kiddies??

Listen: I'm no psychic, but I'm gonna go ahead and predict the future here. On Tuesday, the phone will ring. It will be my mother, and she will ask me, "Did you eat your black eyed peas today?"

If you grew up or live in the southeastern U.S., I'm guessing your mama's gonna call you too.  It's tradition in the south to eat black eyed peas as your first meal on New Year's to ensure luck and prosperity in the year ahead. Some say you have to eat 365 individual peas for the luck to really sink in. I gloss over that rule because, frankly, I don't really like black eyed peas that much. If the tradition dictated eating 365 M&Ms for good luck, that'd be a different story, and a hell of a way to sabotage a weight loss resolution before it gets a runnin' start.

Enjoying another Southern classic--Shrimp & Grits--in the middle of New York City.

My dad always made a really traditional dish called Hoppin' John for New Year's, which is just a big, soupy pot of black eyed peas stewed with ham hock or bacon, served hot over a steaming bowl of starchy white rice. It's delicious, but I like to take a lighter route on New Year's and make another classic--black-eyed pea dip. Also known as "Texas Caviar", it's a big bowl of corn, canned tomatoes with green chilis, chopped red and green bell peppers, jalapeno and black eyed peas amidst a sea of yummy oil and vinegar dressing.

You can eat it as a salad or serve it with corn tortilla chips and make it a dip. I like this recipe by Paula Deen, but I omit the pimentos and reduce the oil by almost half (which I find is almost always necessary with Paula's recipes...at least the ones she wrote in the pre-diabetes years). I've served it at several parties, and it's always a big hit--even with northerners who don't have mothers breathing down their necks to eat their black eyed peas.

Happy New Year's, Y'all!!

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year! Congrats on having an amazing 2012! So glad you are back to blogging now :)