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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.