Happy New Year’s Everyone! Let’s make 2013 the best year yet for all of us. My New Year’s celebration and cooking was a bit delayed this year, compared to years past. Typically, I make collard greens and black-eyed peas or Hoppin John on New Year’s Eve. However, this year I didn’t make them until January 3rd! I am not the kind of person to turn down a chance to create wealth and good luck in my life, which is what all the greens and peas are supposed to represent. However, my mom was traveling and I was a bit sick and didn’t have an appetite on New Year’s Eve.
Luckily for me, my neighbors invited me over for hot cocoa on New Year’s Day and they just happened to be making a big, steaming pot of those gorgeous black eyed peas. I decided that since it was technically the new day of the new year, that eating good luck food could still be worth my while. Besides, I am not the kind of person to turn down good, home cooked food! So, I had a spoonful, in order to keep fate on my side.
The peas had just been pulled off of the burner and were piping hot. They had not yet been seasoned with anything at. No salt, pepper, Tabasco, ham or bacon had been added to the pot while they had cooked. My neighbor handed me a gleaming silver spoon that was piled high with the delectable peas.
I could tell from looking at them that they had been cooked to perfection. All of the peas were soft, with no trace of a hard, uncooked core. Some of them on the spoon had split open from either the act of being scooped from the larger pot or from the heat coming off of the steam. And still others were whole, untouched and perfect with their black centers creating an appealing pattern in the creamy white mound on the spoon.
I took a small bite so as not to burn my tongue, which would be a bad way to start the New Year The black-eyed peas were beyond delicious. The bite had been off the top of the spoon, where most of the unbroken peas were located. Therefore, I could feel the skin of the black-eyed peas “give” in my mouth, revealing the soft and buttery tasting souls of the peas.
By now, the spoon had cooled and my second bite was more gung ho. This time around, I took in the peas that had been mashed and broken from the act of scooping and from all of the heat from cooking. Their texture was so fine and wonderful that they slid over my tongue and down my throat almost too quickly, before I could thoroughly enjoy them.
I was left wanting more, but did not want to seem rude by asking my neighbors for a new spoon and another helping. I left their home happy to have participated in one of my most loved traditions, but I was also dissatisfied and wanted more. Needless to say, when my mom got home on Jan 3rd and cooking and eating could be done by two people, we took to the kitchen to make Hopping John, collard greens and spoon bread. We had enough for 3 days of feasting. It was heavenly!
What are some of your New Year traditions for good luck and prosperity?