I grew up on soul food. I can close my eyes and the aromas take me back instantly! Every Sunday at home or at my grandparents’, black-eyed peas would be slowly simmering on the stove. In the south, eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring good luck.
Being African American, this side dish was on the stove early the morning of December 31st, and pretty much every single Sunday. A couple of smokey ham hocks were added to the pot for flavor. There was always cornbread, hot from the oven, ready for us to soak up all the goodness.
Pieces of the tender ham hock meat falling off the bone, give this dish a heartiness that makes it a meal in itself. Don’t forget the dash of hot sauce!
Although the tradition says to eat 365 black eyed peas for good luck, it’s way too good…who’s going to count?
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Recipe adapted from Sylvia’s Soul Food Cookbook by Sylvia Wood and Christopher Styler.