…thoughts from my heart on my love for God, family and the care and decorating of our home

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


In the Southern United States, it's traditional to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. This all traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky. 

A couple of years ago I found a recipe for black-eyed pea salad and it has become a part of our New Year’s meal.

Good Luck Salad 004

Good Luck Salad

juice of 1 lime 
2 cups baby spinach, torn into bite size pieces
1 (15 0z.) can black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed well
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
hot pepper sauce, to taste (I use Crystal hot sauce)

Combine all ingredients.
May be chilled or served at room temperature.

A BIT OF TRIVIA, if you are interested.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

  • Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money.
  • Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.
  • For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.
  • Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.
  • In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.
  • Adding a shiny penny to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.
The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.

What traditional foods do y’all eat on New Year’s Day?

Wishing you blessings and prosperity in the New Year,


Karen said...

How very interesting Sue...the thing we learn from our blog friends is amazing.
Now I'm not a black eyed pea fan so I won't buy the ingredients...but IF SOMEONE MADE IT AND OFFERED ME SO I'd sure like to try it...
Thanks for sharing.

Trace4J said...

How cool Friend
We love black eyed peas and will try this one soon.
Thanks for sharing
Woolie Hugs

Old Time Cindy said...

We haven't had blacked eyed peas for the new year in a long time. I'll have to go find my old recipe that I used to make. Happy New Year to you!
Farmhouse hugs,

Barb said...

Hi Sue,
Love this info...had no idea why my husband was all about the black eyed peas. He is from MI and they always had a dish he said. Now I can tell him why!
Enjoy your New Year!

Patty Sumner said...

Well I for one love Blackeyed peas...could eat them anytime... thanks for trivia.. Blessings to you in this New Year!