Sunday, December 28, 2014

News Year's Day and Black-eyed Peas

     New Year’s Day is in a couple of days and it is time to turn my attention to my annual tradition of having black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. I have no idea where this tradition started   All I know is for as long as I can remember, on every New Year’s Day, I  have eaten black-eyed peas.  Originally I was led to understand that for every pea I ate on New Year’s Day, I would receive one dollar bill in the upcoming year.   It has been a very long time since this tradition began in my life and I have modified it to some extent.  I now look at it is for every black-eyed pea I eat on New Year’s Day, I will get $1000 in the coming year.   Prices have gone up.
      When I lived in the South and I went to the grocery store, I could find 20 different kinds of black-eyed peas on the shelf.    After I moved to the West Coast, if I went looking for black-eyed peas, I could only find the store brand.  Things are a little better now and there are multiple brands on the shelf.
     I have no idea how this tradition got started.  I have heard that it started after the Civil War and that it started 1500 years ago in the Middle East.   I truly have no idea.   I also heard that there used to be a saying that if you eat poor on New Year’s Day you will eat rich the rest of the year.  I guess this tradition is like any other, their multiple explanations for how it got started.   All I know is that for the every New Year’s Day for my entire life I've had black-eyed peas.   I can report that on the years I ate a heavy serving of black-eyed peas it did not seem to translate into more dollars in my wallet.  But to me that doesn't matter.   It is a tradition that connects me to many generations in my family and I actually like black-eyed peas.
     So this New Year’s Day I will have black-eyed peas for lunch and black-eyed peas for dinner. Since I’m having black-eyed peas twice on New Year’s Day, I expect to get twice as much money as I would have had I not eaten black-eyed peas.