The rule is you must eat black-eyed peas and hog jowls for good luck on New Year’s Day.
Since I never made the acquaintance of either delicacy before marrying hubby, I had some adjustments to make. The hog jowls never passed my lips that I know of, but everyone was content with the ham substitution.
Now, the black-eyed peas were another matter. The first time I tasted them, they reminded me of iodine. Over the years, peas and I have reached an uneasy truce. I tolerate them when they are smothered in jalapeno peppers.
Imagine my excitement when I discovered that one brand produces the black-eyed peas with and without jalapenos. All was right with the world — until a mad dash to the grocery store on New Year’s Eve to pick up last-minute items included the doctored black-eyed peas, with unexpected results.
New Year’s Day dawned cold and blustery, with the promise of the Rose Bowl Parade, which probably padded the pockets of more than one wholesale florist, along with endless bowl games on the television. The New Year’s Day meal was ready, including a yummy ham and the black-eyed peas. Since I tend to dislike messy plate presentations, I provided separate bowls for the black-eyed peas. Hubby turned down my strong suggestion to use the bowls instead of creating a swim fest on his plate.
Then he casually remarked that those were not black-eyed peas.
“Of course they are,” she argued and grabbed the can to show him. “I bought the brand with the jalapenos. See!”
The can label clearly stated that the contents were pinto beans with jalapenos. That dirty, sneaky company tricked me.
Fortunately for me, hubby reacted the way he always did to my Southern cuisine blunders. He laughed.
May the new year bring you and yours luck, whether you eat the correct beans or peas or whatever.
Elizabeth is an author and freelance writer. Visit her website www.elizabethcowan.com. Please check out her new novel, “The Dionysus Connection,” on Amazon.