Happy New Year Y'all! It's a tradition to eat black eyed peas and cabbage on new years... for luck and prosperity.
For New Years, pork represents health and wealth, and continued prosperity. Some say also that a pig also represents progress - since pigs pretty much can't just look backward without completely turning around, so a pig represents forward progress.
The tradition of black-eyed peas for southerners is believed to have originated back during Civil War times when Sherman's soldiers raided southern homes, taking virtually all of the food and burning the crops, but mostly ignoring the fields of black-eyed peas, because they thought them to be food for the livestock and of no value otherwise. As one of the few food sources left to sustain the people and the southern soldiers, those black-eyed peas came to represent good fortune.
The black-eyed peas represent coins, cabbage represents paper money and cornbread represents gold. I did not know that :o)
Don't worry, my recipe contains lots of pork. Oh, and and the meal will be rounded out with a batch of Dixie Cornbread! Yummy!! Now what should I make for dessert?? Maybe a chocolate sheet cake...
because in my mind, chocolate brings happiness!!
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp canola oil
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup ham, cubed
1/2 to 1 cup water
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
In a large skillet with a fitted lid, start by frying the bacon until done, then set it aside. (notice I didn't say drain it... you're gonna want all those drippings back in the pan!) Next, over medium heat, add the oil to the bacon fat, then add onion, garlic and about half of the cabbage. Continue stirring and adding cabbage until you get it all in the pan. Once it's in the pan add the water, cover and cook, stirring occationally, until the cabbage has softened (about 20 min). Remove the lid and add the bacon, ham, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook until all of the water has evaporated. Add more seasoning if needed, I like a lot of pepper in mine!