Frankie and Slim

Frankie and Slim
Happy New Year

Friday, January 03, 2014


My life long New Years traditions is to eat Black eyed peas and Ham.

Black eyed peas and ham are mandatory in this part of the country on New Years Day. Even a teaspoon full of the peas taken like medicine with nose pinched and quickly swallowed happens often. Since no company this year, I prepared an abbreviated portion of Texas Caviar with tortilla chips to dip and had a slice of ham with it. Slim begged for the ham but I had to pinch her nose to get the caviar down her:)

Why the peas? Eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the year is believed to bring good luck in the coming year a tradition that began during the Civil War. Black-eyed peas were the only food spared by Gen. William T. Sherman and his Union troops during their destructive march through the South. Union troops found the beans to be fit only for use as animal fodder. Thus, black-eyed peas helped save surviving Confederates from starvation and were thereafter regarded as a symbol of good luck.

Read more here:

Why ham?  Pigs have long symbolized progress. A pig can't turn his head to look back without turning completely around, so it's believed that pigs are always looking to the future. They fit in perfectly with other New Year's celebrations. 

What are your New Years traditions?


  1. I have also always had black-eyed peas on New Years Day. When I was growing up they would wrap coins in foil and put them in the pot with the peas. Not too sanitary, I'm sure, but I got good at scooping from the bottom to get a good pile of coins.
    Happy new year, Annie.

  2. I had heard of this tradition, but it is nice to know the history behind it..

  3. This is probably the first time I have missed having black eyed peas on New Year's Day in at least 45 years. I even had them, purchased way in advance for New Year's Day but then totally forgot about them. I had never heard of putting coins in the pot though. One year, back in the 70's, everyone in town awoke on New Year's Day to find a can of black eyed peas sitting by their front door, courtesy of the bank. This was in a little town in NM. The can had a label saying something like "good luck in the new year from First National Bank."

  4. I don't have any traditions. I barely make it to midnight each year!

  5. No black-eyed peas here...or they're not as common. We always toast the New Year by stepping in with our right foot (to start the new year off on the right foot)...and I think that's about it. Boring, huh? :)

  6. Anonymous12:57 PM

    Not familiar with your tradition. Thanks for the history, though. Happy New Year.

  7. Blackeyed peas are nasty, and we pair them with collard greens to symbolize wealth. Add cornbread and you have new years meal. Of the three tge only one that is palatable is yhe cornbread which I can't eat due to gluten allergies. From now on I will serve chocolate and red wine.

  8. We always have the black-eyed peas to symbolize coins and collard greens to symbolize green paper money. It is said that if you eat them on New Years Day you will achieve wealth in the coming year. I have not found this to be true, but am wealthy enough - so it's all good. :) That being said - I always have them + some cooked pork.

  9. Well, as you know it is starting with a clean slate. Everything cleaned out and the old thrown out. Glad to learn what all this black-eyed peas thing is all about.

  10. Gracious! This is so very interesting! Well, we did have pork in our kombu maki for new year. Kombu maki is a sliver of pork rolled in seaweed and tied with a rope of seaweed and put in a soy sauce sort of sauce. It's very good. Our new year traditions has a lot to do with cleaning up the house and different kinds of traditional foods. There's noodles for long life and mochi. I'm not sure what the mochi represents.

  11. I did not know the reasons behind that dish. Really interesting, thanks.

  12. Anonymous4:25 PM

    We always have Hoppin John for New Years. This is black-eyed peas, the ham bone from Christmas, onions
    , peppers, and Creole seasoning and this is served over rice. We always have homemade tamales for Christmas Eve and I ask my son if he wanted a tamale put in the bowl with his Hoppin John? He did so I fixed it that way and ask him what we should call that. My daughter-in-law immediately said Hoppin Juan.

  13. They are looking to the future of being eaten! How odd is that?

    I love black eyed peas. I haven't been able to find them here.

    Traditions - usually we see a movie, but Mr. RK was feeling lazy, so we watched one at home.

  14. No traditions here, especially this year as I'm not with all of my family. I was interested to read yours though.

  15. Don't really have any but enjoyed reading about yours and especially about the pig not being able to look back:)

  16. I suppose First Footing is the main tradition here in the North of England and also in Scotland.

    The First foot is the first person to enter the house on New Year's day. The first-foot is traditionally a tall, dark-haired male and usually brings a gift such as bread, salt, coal, or a drink (usually whisky). When we were young we lived in a mining community & went from house to house first footing having a drink & a bit of a dance or sing song. The tradition is dying out now so my husband is usually our first food & goes out the back door a couple of minutes before midnight, has a brief chat with our next door neighbour & comes in the front door after the first stroke of midnight. He gives me a kiss & hands over a tiny piece of coal, all that's left from a huge piece my mother in law gave us when we moved into the house. Another tradition!

    Happy New Year Annie!

  17. Anonymous10:45 AM

    So THAT'S what all the beans and ham talk was about!
    We don't have a new years' tradition, but I think next year we are going to sit in a hot tub at midnight. Hopefully it's our own. Hahah!

  18. When a teen-ager we always had a party n got to kiss all the guys after midnight. Amazing didn't catch anything back then- Now I wouldn't dare! (Hepatitis, Aids,ect)
    Used to get really drunk n go to gigs at bars. In Falmouth they always did fireworks at the Beach, used to go see James Montgomery play blues Harmonica there.
    When had kids, had them stay up n watch the ball drop on Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve show.
    I've never fallen asleep on it-

    Actually had a (shredded) ham n cheese for dinner, but have never tried Black-eyed peas. Do they taste like livestock feed?

  19. I love black-eyed peas, but then I love the smell of good silage...

  20. Jeanie
    Hum, since you and I both are from Oklahoma I wonder why I never got money in my black eyed peas?

    It is always fun to share the knowledge:)

    Aunt Betsy
    So sad that you forgot to eat your black eyed peas. If I had thought about it I would have reminded you because I knew how sick you were.

    Your comment makes me think you had not heard of this custom.

    This was the first year in ages that I actually saw the new year arrive.

    I must agree that is pretty boring. Perhaps I will send you a can of black eyed peas next year.

    That story of the south being left the black eyed peas to survive on would be a good historic story for you to write about.

    Lisa (aka Mollie's mom)
    Solve your chocolate and red wine combined by simply serving ChocoVine the taste of Dutch chocolate and fine red wine. It is absolutely delicious as a dessert wine served very, very cold and is thick like a liquor.

    That sounds like you are well covered with all the good luck combinations.

    Everything is cleaned out and thrown out around here and makes my chickens very happy. They love left overs.

  21. never new the full story on the traditions of Black eye peas and ham, i have heard others - like Collard Greens were eaten for money (the green stuff) and black eye peas were for coins. Everyone i knew seasoned collards with ham hocks, so ham was served also. Your knowledge on the traditions rings true (pun intended!). Have a wonderful new year!

  22. Kay
    Your table looked wonderful, filled with delicious goodies and surrounded by happy people.

    Arkansas Patti
    And being from Arkansas, you had to have eaten a black eyed pea or two, right?

    My son brought me tamales for Christmas. He gets the BEST tamales in Tulsa or maybe Broken Arrow. You can only order them and the fellow delivers. They are mild or hot and by the dozen in corn shucks. How do you wrap yours? Could I make my own?

    Riot Kitty
    Well I guess I will just have to send you some. Why in the world can't you find them? I love them too.

    LL Cool Joe
    Why aren't you with all of your family? Have I failed to read something thoroughly? I will go back and read better.

    Changes in the wind
    Love your follow up on the pig. Wow, who knew there was so much to learn about pigs?

    Not a soul has crossed my threshold in this new year except me when I returned from the church New Years Eve party. Does that count? I brought home a half eaten bag of chips and gave one to my dog Slim. Thankfully there were no strange men lurking.

    Yes, now you know “the rest of the story”. It will be your own hot tub unless you imbibe a bit too much and wander afar.

    Snaggle Tooth
    Come on Snag, you know you would still kiss the boys! I only watched Dick Clark on American Bandstand and never was a fan of watching the ball drop. Too busy snoozing. Black-eyed peas are delicious and the Union soldiers did not know what they were missing.

    BJ Miller
    Especially fermenting silage, right?

  23. I don't have any notable New Year's traditions. I guess I get most excited about switching up my calendars. I have two wall calendars (one at home and one at the office) and a portable daily planner. The new wall calendars have pretty pictures and the new planner has an illustration of blue kitties on the cover, so that's fun.

  24. Sparkling Red
    Of course, that is wonderful to set up the new calendar. I enjoy that and I enjoy opening my new devotional book and writing in all the upcoming birthdays and anniversary's.

  25. I love black eyed peas and we always ate them on New Year's Day and knew about the good luck - but I never knew where the tradition started or why - love it. sandie

  26. I don't have any New Years traditions, but at my house growing up, we would eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.

    When the girls were little, we used to do fireworks.

  27. We usually go out to a nice restaurant because I feel good about eating out and resting a little bit.
    Black Eye Peas- - - If I have any left over white rive, I make a stir fry rice Pilaf like thing with black eye Peas. My hubby loves it.

  28. Chatty Crone
    I ate them my whole life on New Years day and never questioned why. It was just tradition. Finally I looked it up because it seemed something worth knowing. I liked learning that a pig cannot turn it's head.

    I only learned recently about the custom of eating grapes at the stroke of midnight for good luck. Rarely can I ever stay awake until midnight so I wouldn't have much luck very often, even if I remembered to buy the grapes.

    Often we eat red beans and rice. I have never tried black eyed peas over rice but it has to be good so I will try that soon. I absolutely love black eyed peas and will put them on my salad along with jalapeno peppers. Best of all I like the idea of going to a restaurant on New Years Day and letting someone else do the cooking and clean up the mess:)

  29. I loved this little history lesson...and I love the reasoning for the pig!

  30. Hi, Granny,
    Thanks for the story about the black eyed peas. We always had them on New Year's Day, but I never asked my mother why. I just loved eating them. Maybe she didn't know the reason, other than "that's what we do." Thanks for your visit today...and other times.