Hoppin’ John

How many of you served black eyed peas on New Years Eve/Day?  It is said to be “good luck”, “good fortune” for the turn of the new year.  For New Years, it’s a tradition around here, but my mother cooked them year around when I was a child.  They were that “different” tasting bean, that when mixed with mashed potatoes it curved their distinct flavor.

Hoppin’ John is a dish made with black eyed peas.  There are two different guesses as to where this name came from.  1.  When guests came by they were told to, “Hop in ‘Jon”, “Hop in ‘Sue” and have some.  2.  The children were supposed to hop around the table before their first serving.  Either way…it’s a delicious dish that I tried my hand at this year for the first time with my little sous chef, Ruby. =SUCCESS…she even reserved a bowl for her lunch for the first day back to school.

Cow Peas/Field Peas are other terms used to refer to black eyed peas.  This name is said to come from the fact that black eyed peas are an excellent source to plant around the edges of the garden.  They keep the weeds out, protect the crops, add nutrients to the soil, and give the ‘cows’ something to munch on.

our recipe:

Hoppin’ John

One pound dried black eyed peas (rinse and soak overnight)

Lard

One whole sweet yellow onion

One green bell pepper

Two carrots

Two cloves garlic

One Teaspoon Thyme

2 Tablespoons Chili Powder

2 bay leaves

Petite Diced Tomatoes to taste

Water as needed

Salt and Pepper

Drain and rinse black eyed peas that have been soaking.  Set aside.  Add lard and next nine ingredients to pot.  Let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add black eyed peas, tomatoes and water.  Cook over medium heat til boiling.  Reduce heat.  Add water as needed and to your liking.  As peas become tender add salt and pepper to taste.