It's long been considered a tradition, particularly in the southern United States, to consume black-eyed peas on New Year's Day (or soon after). It's a symbol of good luck, wealth, and general good fortune for the upcoming year, and brother, every bit of good luck helps these days.
Besides, black-eyed pea dishes are generally hearty and stewlike — perfect for chillier months.
Since it'll still be wintertime here for, oh, a few more days at least, here's one quick, inexpensive recipe that's easily thrown in a crockpot to fill your home with its lucky aroma while you're at work, watching football, or hiking on a crisp Arizona January day.
Simple Slow Cooker Good Luck Black-Eyed Peas
3 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of black-eyed peas (dealer's choice)
1 can stewed tomatoes (you can use any flavor)
2 c. broth (you can use chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1. Fry bacon in a large frying pan and drain excess fat. Leave a small amount in the pan for sautéing the onion and garlic.
2. Place chopped onion in the pan and sauté until clear. Then add garlic and sauté for the last two minutes.
3. Place the cooked bacon pieces and onion and garlic mixture, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, broth, and spices in a slow cooker (or large stockpot) and cook on low for at least two hours ... or until good-luck charms are fully activated.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on January 28, 2009. It was updated on January 2, 2021.
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