Hoppin John

Happy New Year! 

Did you eat your Black Eyed Peas for luck? We did! Every New Years Day, I make this version of Hoppin’ John. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where the recipe sprung from. Some recipes in my binder have been lingering there forever without a place of origin!

Back to the Peas> I’m from Arkansas. You could say I’m kind of Southern. Just a little. Every New Years Day for as long as I was living at home, there would be fried hog jowl {not as nasty as it sounds! Think BACON. Everyone loves BACON!} and Black Eyed Peas {for luck!}.

Do you ever wonder WHY black eyed peas are claimed to be “lucky”? I was raised to believe it to be so, but I can’t remember the WHY of it. ..

So I did some Googling.

Its a mostly Southern superstition with several different versions. I won’t go through all of them and I don’t know which one my family might’ve believed, but my favorite version is from the Civil War.

It says that back then the peas were considered “animal food” and not good enough for Union troops to consume.  So when the Union troops would raid a Confederate camp, they’d take everything but leave the black eyed peas. The Confederate troops considered themselves “lucky” to have ANY food at all left to help them survive the winter. 

Hoppin John

Anyway, back to the recipe. I wanted to continue the tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Years Day, so I make this tasty {and EASY!} Hoppin’ John every year and we absolutely love it! I make my Skillet Cornbread to serve alongside.

Even if you don’t believe that black eyed peas will bring you luck in the New Year, you should definitely give this recipe a try anyway! I make it throughout the year. Comfort food at its best!

See below a picture of the kind of “Country Ham” I mean for this recipe. I find it at the grocery store near the ham steaks. It’s very similar to salted pork with thick chunks of ham fat on the meat. Alternatively, if you have leftover ham from Christmas Dinner, a good chunk of that would work just great in this recipe.

Country Ham

source for Black Eyed Pea history lesson: http://littlerock.about.com/od/festivals/a/Black-Eyed-Peas-For-New-Years-Luck.htm

What traditions do you follow for the New Year?

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Designer of cute digital clipart, party printables and stock photography.

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