New Year Spicy Black Eyed Peas

I guess y’all figured that I was Catholic from the name of the website. Well, I was also born in Virginia and lived here most of my life. So not only have I embraced my Catholic traditions, but also my southern ones. One of those traditions is to eat Black Eyed Peas on New Years Day.

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 very little, except for peas and greens. The Union soldiers considered “field peas” and greens, not good enough for human consumption, and only fed to livestock.  Lucky for the Confederate soldiers, for they may have died of starvation. These dishes became cherished and appreciated recipes. There is a legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Virginia, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky. So began the tradition of celebrating these dishes as the new year is born.


Spicy Black Eyed Peas


4 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) package dried black-eyed peas, washed, soaked in water overnight
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water


In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, crumble and set aside to use as topping for peas. Cut onions and saute in bacon drippings until tender. Add peas, diced tomatoes and green chilies, salt, chili powder, pepper and water. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until peas are tender. Add additional water of necessary.

Peace be with you,