Christmas is in our rear view mirror, and now we look ahead to New Year's Day. While I have no idea what the New Year will bring, I do know what I'll be eating on day one: black-eyed peas.
I grew up with the notion that you ate em for good luck or prosperity or something like that. But I never asked why, until now. Let's verify the legend of the black-eyed pea.
My wife Jane has been serving em since our first New Year's Day together. We're not alone. Capie Peck of Trios Restaurant has done research on culinary history involving black-eyed peas that have several aliases.
"Well black-eyed peas are called so many things," Peck said. "Are they purple hull peas, it's a field pea, lady peas are smaller. But they're also really called cow peas and that really probably came from when they were fed to livestock."
Hard to believe something this good started out as food for cows and pigs, but that turned out to be a lifesaver in the Civil War south.
"When the union soldiers were raiding the larders of the confederate families, they took everything except they left the peas and the salt pork because that was not worth human consumption"
And that's where the pea legend began.
Those peas and that salt pork fed those confederate families so that's where the luck comes from.
"You're supposed to eat one pea for every day of the year to insure to insure that you have good luck and prosperity."
For our verify purposes we need to answer the question: Are black-eyed peas lucky?
I'm gonna say yes.
Cause if you're from the south, and your ancestors hadn't survived because of them, chances are pretty good you wouldn't be here. That's about at lucky as you can get.
Peas on earth good luck toward men. And women.