Tradition in the American south has wide influences. In this traditional New Years dish, you can see cultural influences from Europe and Africa.
Hoppin’ John is a dish that combines rice and black-eyed peas. Typically it is flavored with a ham hock or bacon. But if you don’t eat pork, you can make a vegetarian version that is just as flavorful. This year we used spicy turkey sausage and it was great!
Stories go according to how many black-eyed peas you get on your fork, is how much luck you will have in the new year.Three peas should be left on your plate to represent health, wealth, and love or faith, hope, and charity or even luck, romance and money.
The meal is accompanied with food items that represent wealth: greens like collards, turnip greens, swiss chard, cabbage or kale represent “folding money” so be sure to serve plenty of greens on new years.
Carrots are cut into rounds to represent gold coins, corn bread is often served because it is the color of gold as well.
Tradition states to eat like a pauper on New Years day and eat like a king the rest of the year.
In some parts of the south, left-over “Hoppin’ John” is called “Skippin’ Jenny” after New Years day. After that, we just call it beans and rice, served up with a “mess of collards” and cornbread.
Don’t forget the pot liquor.
Hoppin’ John and Skippin’ Jenny
- 1/2# Spicy Italian turkey sausage
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic sliced thin or minced
- 1-1/2 cups white rice, raw (I prefer basmati or texmati)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 – 15 oz. cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh black pepper
Slice the sausage into 1″ slices. Saute in olive oil for 3 minutes.
Add onion. Sweat the onions (cook without browning) until they become translucent.
Add the garlic, rice and thyme. Stir to coat the rice.
Add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Black Eyed Peas For Good Luck? (greenflbroker.com)
- Old-School New Year’s Day American Food: South, North or Midwest – its Imported (carlanthonyonline.com)
- Black-Eyed Peas for New Year’s Day (organicauthority.com)
- Good Luck Foods (wholefoodsmarket.com)
- Eat Your Way Into A Lucky 2012 (stylecaster.com)
- Southern Traditions For New Year’s Day Dinner (christyfarmer.wordpress.com)
- New Year’s Day 2012 (jahangiri.wordpress.com)
- Meatless Monday Recipe: A Veggie Version of a New Year’s Classic (momsgoinggreenblog.com)