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New Year's eve and New Year's day gatherings usually involve party foods plus traditional foods eaten for good luck in the coming year.

In the Southern United States, black-eyed peas and turnip greens make up the traditional New Year meal. Black-eyed peas are a symbol of good luck for the coming year - the peas represent copper and the greens represent dollars.

Some folks say you should eat one pea for every day of the year, so you'll have good luck for an entire year (365 days worth of black-eyed peas!).

Cook up some Black-eyed Peas with Collard Greens to ensure you'll have good luck in the New Year.


Features : Recipes : New Year Recipes - Peas and Greens

Hoppin' John - A European TranslationHoppin John, European Style

Peas and greens recipes are a tradition for New Year celebrations, but they're often served up according to local or regional culture and history.

There are interesting local variations across the USA on this theme of peas and greens for good luck in the upcoming year.

For example, in Texas and Alabama cabbage replaces turnip greens as the symbolic cash in their recipes. Wherever the custom is observed, greens represent money, and the more greens you eat the more your financial fortune should improve in the upcoming year.

Pennsylvania Germans dine on pork and sauerkraut for New Year's Day, also said to bring luck and good health in the coming year. But just in case, they've got those Hex signs to keep things on an even keel.

Emeril Lagasse has a great recipe for Hoppin John over at the Food Network. It's deliciously seasoned with spices and ham hock (pork brings good luck for New Year!) along with the lucky black eyed peas.

Coleslaw and ribs, anyone? A Happy Healthy New Year to You!

Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens


1 cup dried black-eyed peas
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz collard greens, cleaned and  coarsely chopped
3/4 cup tomato sauce
4 Tbsp molasses
1-1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 drops hot-pepper sauce


Soak the black-eyed peas in 2-1/2 Cups water overnight.

Next day, bring the beans and water to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender (45-50 minutes). Transfer the beans and cooking liquid to a 3-quart non-stick baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan warm the oil gently over medium heat, then add onions, green peppers and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and collard greens. Cover and cook about 3 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the collard greens are barely wilted.

Remove pan from heat and add to black-eyed peas and cooking liquid; stir to combine.

Add tomato sauce, molasses, mustard, parsley and hot-pepper sauce and mix welll. Cover baking dish and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Serve with rice or crusty bread ... mmmm.

Lee Hansen

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