Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!!  We woke up this morning with a great grin on our faces.  We are alive!  We are together!  We are blessed!  After ushering in the new year at church, we were extremely excited to spend some time together as a family.  As is our tradition, FatherWinter, Superbug, and I made our way to Watch Night services at the church.  Accompanying us for her first Watch Night Service was Honeybee.  Admittedly, we were very late this year.  We wanted Honeybee well rested, so we didn't get to the church until 11:30ish.  However, that was just enough time to get a great Word, hold hands as a family, and wish each other a Happy New Year.

For those who have followed the blog for a while, I grew up in the South. A few of my favorite Southern African-American traditions have always been linked to New Years.  None more so than the collard greens and black-eyed peas.  As my great-great grandmother told me growing up, the tradition of collard greens and black-eyed peas was a bit of folklore and a whole bunch of fun.  The collard greens were to symbolize dollar bills.  The black-eyed peas were to symbolize pennies.  The amount you ate determined the stability of your wallet!  We, of course, know this folklore to be false, but I enjoy the tradition and merit of it so much that I have faithfully been preparing these two items for my family and myself for as long as I have had a household for which to do so.

There are tons of ways to make Black Eyed Peas, but I have to say one of my favorites has always been the recipe below.  I can't take the credit for this one.  It's from a site I love to frequent called Divas Can Cook.  This young lady brings me back to my great-grandmother's cooking all the time.  I LOVE HER!  Now, since I can't post my great-grandmother's recipe because I know she'd have a fit (rest her soul); I think she'd approve of the one that's listed.

I promise there are collard greens on this place.
They're hiding under the pot pie!
I like to add some sliced ham, some hot cornbread with butter, and finish up with a nice deep dish apple pie with ice-cream to round out the dish.  Now, this year...we took the tradition and added some spice o' life to it.  I neglected to cook the black eyed peas!  Only because there was still so much food left from previous meals.  We ended up with a plate of collard greens, macaroni and cheese,  cornbread, cocktail franks, baked beans, cranberry sauce, corn on the cob, and turkey pot pie.  Yeah, we're stuffed lol.

Oh!  There's one more New Year's tradition that is followed in our home.  The first man to cross the threshold of your home on the New Year's Day (and does not live in the home) must put money on the kitchen or dining room table.  It doesn't have to be a lot.  It can be a penny.  It can be a dime.  But it's occurrence was supposed to mean prosperity and good tidings the entire year and my uncle did it every year for my great-grandmother's household.  It was something she insisted on!  I do too lol.

 I am not beneath dialing my father up on the phone and telling him to come by lol.  My husband hates it and thinks it is absolute mess.  He is 100% right.  It is mess, but I love the memories it brings back to me of a simpler time and a peaceful childhood.  I look forward to Honeybee and SuperBug seeing the same occur.

Have a great New Year, everyone!  May God bless you with peace, health, prosperity, true friendship, and love all year long.

-WinterMommy

Southern Black Eyed Peas

Ingredients
4-5 green onions, chopped (or 1 medium white onion, chopped)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag of dry black eyed peas
Smoked Turkey (as much as you desire. I used half of a fully cooked, smoked turkey leg. Just chopped the meat up into bits. You can leave it whole if you do not like meat in your black eyed peas but like the flavor)
6-8 cups of chicken broth (or enough to cover the beans)
Red pepper flakes,
black pepper (optional)

Instructions
Sort & wash the black eyed peas. Set aside.
Chop onions & garlic.
In a large pot, add in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until tender.
Add in the chopped meat, black eye peas, & chicken broth
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until black eyed peas are tender.
Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 10-15 minutes.
Season with red pepper & black pepper if desired.

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This recipe came from Divas Can Cook which is
Old School Cooking For The Modern Woman.
Make sure you go check out the website for more great recipes.
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