Sunday, 31 December 2017

Black-Eyed Peas!

I have a whole raft* of ideas for traditions, old and new, in 2018. The first is to honour my Southern roots in the US by eating black-eyed peas on New Years Day to bring good luck in the coming year. I hated them as a child and negotiated with Mom down to three: she thought eating three black-eyed peas might just be enough to save me. 

I love them now. We had a large ham over Christmas and I saved the fat from it to flavour my beans. We buy dried beans -  some of every kind they have at the Asian grocery in Brighton Grove - and a large bag of polenta (corn meal) about every 2-3 years. It takes that long for us to finish them off. The beans soak for about 24 hours and cook in the crock pot for a few hours on high. I generally cook about three cups of dried beans at a time and freeze the cooked beans in smaller portions. Nothing suits beans and ham like some hot buttered cornbread. That was Mom's comfort food and it has become mine as well.

Here in Britain black-eyed peas are sometimes known as cow-peas, which is perhaps too close in my mind to 'cow patty' to sound attractive, but I can see why one might think they bear markings similar to a cow, mmm perhaps a British White?

...there is nothing so easy to create as a tradition.
                                                     Sir Walter Scott

*How is it we use the word 'raft' to refer to a large collection of things when it is clearly a flat wooden thing for floating on water? Turns out that went from the North part of Britain over to the US:

 Do you have a tradition you observe for the New Year?

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