Lucky Peas

black-eye-pea-spoonAre you superstitious?


I don’t believe I am, though there’s no doubt I come from superstitious folk. I don’t shudder when a black cat crosses my path, duck away from walking under ladders, and as an adult I don’t even throw salt over my shoulder when it’s spilled.


I tempt fate on a moment-by-moment basis. Living on the edge over here.


Today I tossed all of my level-headed, scientific, and rational thinking right out the window as I went on a search for black-eyed peas.


So many of my friends don’t realize that consumption of the humble black-eyed pea on New Year’s Day is actually the key to all success and positive opportunities in the upcoming year! You, yourself, dear reader, may process my claim and find your mind filled with doubt.


Stop questioning. Black-eyed peas are terribly important.


Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition from the Southern U.S. The pea is a way to entice good luck to come to your house and stay for a year – adding some greens and cornbread to the meal represents getting lucky with money and gold, respectively.


This is not a Jeff Foxworthy, “You Might Be a Redneck If…” tradition, a custom to mock and disbelieve. The luck of the black-eyed pea is true! I can prove it!


Eight years ago I helped chaperone an all-night youth lock in on New Year’s Eve. It was the first time I spent time this handsome gent I’d seen around and we spent the night laughing and telling stories while supervising teenagers who thought taping one another to the walls of the gymnasium with duct tape was the height of quality entertainment.


After we returned all the youth to their homes at 5 a.m. New Year’s Day, that guy asked me if I wanted to go to a movie with him that night. I accepted and invited him to my house to consume our family’s traditional New Year’s meal: black-eyed peas and corn bread.


He came. He consumed eight bowls of black-eyed peas because, trying to be polite and make a good impression on my parents, he ate everything in front of him and my mom, always the hostess, kept refilling his bowl so he wouldn’t go hungry.


May I repeat, eight bowls. That’s about 12 cups of legumes consumed in one sitting.


Followed by a six hour date. A first date, where gaseous eruptions would be awkward.


Best part of the story? He doesn’t even like black-eyed peas.


This might not seem like the luckiest of occurrences  but you would be under the wrong impression if you tried to blame the black-eyed pea for a romantic disaster. Those peas brought us together and five months later we married. Eight years after that my husband still teases my mother about the peas, and she still asks him if he’s gotten his good luck for the year.


I love my husband. I also laugh out loud every time this story crosses my mind.


Thus, it’s obvious: Southern traditions are simply the best. The End.


Do you eat black-eyed peas on New Years? What region of the U.S. do you call home?



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2 thoughts on “Lucky Peas

  • January 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    My sister and I loved reading this! Definitely one for the memory books. However, we don’t eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s (or ever). My family is from Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, so I guess we aren’t Southern enough for it.

  • January 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Hahaha! I can totally see Lizard doing that. He’s a pretty darn fantastic guy. Out of curiosity, which movie did you go see?


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