Cooking Cabbage And Black-eyed Peas — New Years Tradition or Superstition?
As long as I can remember, my parents always cooked Black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's day. They said that I had to eat at least a spoonful of each for wealth and health.
Is that a superstition or a tradition? My mother was probably the most superstitious person I ever met. If you used a salt shaker on her food, after she used it she would take the shaker and toss a little out ot the shaker over her right shoulder.
If you were going up a flight of stairs she wouldn't dare come down the stairs because it was unlucky to cross someone on a flight of stairs. Oh and god forbid if you opened up an umbrella in the house. The world was coming to an end!
I also remember one time riding in the truck with my mom when I was about 14 years old and a black cat ran across the road. Before I knew what happened, she had drove up on the curve onto the sidewalk and almost hit a telephone poll just to avoid the black cat crossing her path. Then she rolled down the window and spit! I was like what the heck was that! LOL
Well for Cajuns here in Southwest Louisiana, it has become a tradition to cook Black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day. But still most do it for the superstition.
Here is a recipe for a Cabbage and Black-Eyed Pea Stew:
- Heat the oil in a deep pan or stockpot set over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and garlic, and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the Napa cabbage; toss and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the ham hocks, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, Cajun seasoning, and salt, stirring for 2 minutes more. Pour in the chicken stock and black-eyed peas. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, place the rice and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is light and fluffy, about 20 minutes.
- Before serving, remove the ham hocks from the pot. Coarsely chop the meat, and return to the black-eyed pea mixture. Serve hot over Basmati rice.