Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Day in the South

My wife and I will be at at my mother's tomorrow chowing down on pork, cabbage, black-eyed peas, and home-made cornbread. My mom and millions of other ladies of the South have always served that on New Year's Day, and here's why, from

Back in the days of Civil War, Union troops swept through the South, confiscating crops and livestock to use as provisions for their troops. Southerners who weren’t off fighting were left with precious little, save for peas and greens. You see, Union soldiers considered “field peas” and greens to be fit only for animal fodder. These dishes became cherished and appreciated as what saved many a family from starvation during those times and the tradition of celebrating these dishes on the new year was born.

There are three things every Southerner must eat on New Years day, Black eyed peas, greens, and hog jowl or fatback.


Big Chief said...

We will have peas, collards, pork, cornbread, sweet tea, and a good bottle of champagne. Have been doing it this way since I can remember (except for the champagne--that's a rather new addition of mine).

Happy New Year!

Jamie S. said...

My Grandmother would always cook up some collard greens, black eye peas, mashed taters, and usually either some type of fried fish or steak. I was always told that you ate the greens and peas on New Years so you would have dollars and cents all through the year.
I really miss those days.

LostinUtah said...

Black eye peas were a staple at our house, usually going with the fried chicken or roast beef for Sunday dinner. Seems like now traditional Sunday dinners are gone- everyone races from church to some restaurant!

Agent Nowhere Man said...

In South Texas, we add tamales to the traditional mix.