Sunday, January 2, 2011

Black Eye Peas

Our Christmas tree is still up.  My grandmother and mother felt the tree had to be down before the first of the year.  I'm torn between their superstitions and my wish to brighten our home just a bit longer.  I decided that since January ~ bleak and cold and snowy ~ is my birthday month, I'm now calling it my birthday tree and I'll leave it up if I want to!!

On the positive side, we feasted on black-eyed (or, as I recently read, black-eye) peas on 1/1/11.  According to many, doing so will bring prosperity.  We'll see!

The first domestic use of the black-eyed peas was recorded in West Africa.  They found their way to Virginia in the mid-17th century and spread across the south rather quickly.  Many soul food recipes have been developed around this legume.  Here is my recipe.


Black-Eyed Peas in a slow cooker (serves 10)

6 cups chicken stock
16 ounce can diced tomatoes 
1 pound black-eyed peas (looked over and rinsed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper. chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced
8 ounces diced ham
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients into a slow cooker.  Start on high for 30 minutes.  Turn to low and simmer for 6 to 8 hours.  

ENJOY!

33 comments:

  1. Your recipe sounds wonderful with the ham. Perfect comfort food for a COLD weekend!

    I'm leaving my tree up till the end of the weekend but I like the idea of a birthday tree :)

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  2. Your recipe sound wonderful.
    The tradition is really to leave all the decorations up until 12th. Night or the twelfth day of Christmas.
    My grandmother stuck to that religiously but I think people make their own choice these days. Hugs xx

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  3. I just learned about the prosperity thing with black-eyed peas.

    I took my tree down yesterday, only because I didn't want to have to take it down later in the month of January.

    I love that you are keeping your tree up! A birthday tree... how magnificent!

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  4. In Greece we leave the tree up until after the Epiphany. I like it that way, more days of Christmas decoration. Your Peas look so hearty and comforting.

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  5. I joined the Catholic church three and a half years ago and it's been great because we are supposed to celebrate Christmas until after the Epiphany. I love it and we are encouraged to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas starting on Christmas day. It's really a wonderful new approach for me. I've always hated the abrupt end to Christmas.

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  6. Beautiful black eyed pea dish! My mom always has ham with black eyed peas and stewed tomatoes. This sounds like a wonderful one-pot version of her whole meal! I leave my tree up until the end of January. I didn't get it decorated until right before Christmas, and now I want some time to enjoy it. I love seeing it twinkling through the window when I come home from work in the evening. :)

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  7. I love the idea of making this recipe in the slow cooker. This recipe goes on my to make list.

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  8. we had slow cooked "black-eyed" peas since i am from the south on Jan 1, but last year we did not and nothing happened, we had a wonderful year. for the past 2 years i have left my tree up until the first week of Feb, no bad luck in those years. you are safe to leave yours up as long as you like. mine is burning right now.
    did you know when the yankee army swept through the south during the war, they took everything edible they could find, nothing was safe. only one thing they left because they thought it was garbage, black eyed peas. they destroyed the food they could not carry, but totally ignored the fields of peas because they thought they were not edible.

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  9. Leave your "birthday tree" up! We had our black eyed peas for sure! Oh geez, now I need to go edit my post from black eyed to black eye!!!
    Have a great day!

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  10. Black eyed peas seems to be the theme here in Virginia, but we gravitate more towards Corned Beef and Cabbage on New Years. It's a choice by Hubby since I could go either way with the menu.

    Yes, (per your comment on my blog) Roanoke does not have direct flight access to very many cities, and it's totally expensive to fly out of here to anywhere, and always count on 1-2 connections with any airline.

    Happy New Year!
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  11. Your recipe sounds wonderful. I will definitely try it. Black-eyed peas and hog jowl were always on our table when I was growing up.

    My husband was from the north, and I did not continue many of the wonderful southern traditions. I've always regretted that a bit. Oh well.

    Happy New Year, Bonnie.

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  12. When is your birthday? My tree is still up, too. A friend leaves hers up through epiphany, so that's good enough for me. The room seems so bare and spartan with everything down. Especially in the bleak midwinter, like you said. We should get one of those large artificial ficus or something, put it in a corner with white lights all over it. Many, many people around here do that. Some have them on their screened in porches or in the foyers, it looks so pretty when you drive past.

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  13. I never knew about black eyed peas for New Years, but have seen a plethora of post these last few days. Being a black eyed pea newbie, I'm really intrigued! Your recipe looks so appealing, I'm eager to try!

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  14. Until today I had not heard of the tradition of eating blackeyed peas on New Years day but this is tghe second time I have read about it this morning. U missed the boat for this year but there is always Chinese new year:D

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  15. That sounds yummy! Especially on a cold, rainy day like we're having here. So, when's your b-day?

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  16. Greetings from Virginia! I had my black-eyed peas yesterday, too, along with saurkraut. Glad I only have to eat that once a year...

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  17. Oh dog-gone, that looks awesome! Better than my can of peas I opened.

    Birthday tree it is! WHY NOT!! Happy birthday this month.

    I would have kept ours up but took it down to get the bike back in that spot so hubby could work off all the junk he ate leading up and during the holidays.

    Happy NEW YEAR!! stay warm!!!

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  18. MMMMM--that recipe and picture made me wish that I hadn't gotten rid of my slow cooker!

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  19. I don't know if I should believe that black eyed peas bring luck. I guess I'll have to try for myself and see how the year goes :)

    Happy New Year!

    Nisrine

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  20. I always think of this as a southern food, as I never experienced it up north. Thanks for the history, and happy new year!

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  21. Hi Bonnie, Growing up, New Year's Day was when we would take our tree down. Then --when I got married and had kids, I liked to get it all down and put away before the 1st --since we always watched football all day on the 1st.

    NOW---George (as a good Episcopalian) likes to leave the tree up until Jan. 6th --which is Epiphany... SO--we sorta compromise and will take things down this coming week.... I'd like to have them all put away by the 6th since we'll be out-of-town that day.

    We always have black-eyed peas on New Years --and it has brought us great luck.... I make mine in a casserole called Hoppin' John. It is GREAT.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  22. Black-eyed peas are one of my all time favorites. I am going to have to give this recipe a try. I have not used cumin with these before. I'm taking my tree down tomorrow. The kiddos went home today; I'll need some type of moving-on exercise to get myself out of the post-visit doldrums! Happy New Year, Bonnie!

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  23. Here in the south we feast on black-eyed-peas and collards for our wealth in the coming year. I hope it works!! Carla

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  24. Do you need to par boil the peas before putting them in the slow cooker?
    That recipe sounds yummy!

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  25. Love your snowy header photo!

    We took our tree down yesterday. (I like to take advantage of having my daughter here to help me!) But the house sure looks bare.

    The recipe looks yummy and I hope it brings you good luck all year!

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  26. I have never had Black Eyed Peas before-I loved The Help-I read it in 09-Have you read The Piano Tuner or any of Kate Morton's books-I quite enjoyed those-You would probably like Saucy Tales, My Homemade Life and Confections of A Master Baker-What about My Life in France-J. Childs.

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  27. I love your recipe for black-eyed peas. Your reflections on the tree reminded me of the year mine was still up on Valentine's Day. A holiday emergency at work, followed by repeated attempts at installation of extremely difficult systems software and a sick child kept me from dismantling the tree. I just added a few hearts to the ornaments to keep it seasonal. It eventually came down, but it gave new meaning to "all things in God's good time." I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  28. What a great recipe for black eye peas. It sounds perfect for the New Year. We're taking the tree down tomorrow. A birthday tree sounds great too!

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  29. Gorgeous picture. I made Texas Caviar with black-eye peas. Yum.

    Happy New Year.

    Carol

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  30. I grew up in New England, so these were never on our table! LOL I don't think I've ever eaten them. Your recipe looks real good.

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  31. As much as I love our Christmas tree before Christmas I'm always eager to get it out before the New Year. My birthday is in January as well and I do like the idea of a birthday tree.

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  32. Mmmmm, I need to get some black eye peas and make this real soon. Obviously I missed out on the New Year's tradition, but they are good anytime.

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  33. Birthday tree...I love it! I think you should leave it up as long as it is bringing you happiness. I love eating black eyed peas all year round, but especially around the New Year. Your recipe does look great. Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

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