Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

  • 2 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 lb. lean bacon, cut into cubes
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 3 and 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • ground pepper
  • 2 dried hot peppers
  • 6 to 7 cups water
  1. Rinse peas and drain. Put bacon into a large pot and cook until rendered of fat and browned.
  2. Add chopped bell pepper, onion, celery and cook, stirring until wilted.
  3. Add peas, vinegar, chicken broth, salt, pepper and hot peppers. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Add six cups of water and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Check peas, if necessary add more water.
  5. Total cooking time: 2.5 hours Serves 16 or more.

    In the South, New Year’s Day is accompanied by the tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens. There are several versions of the myth, but the one I grew up with says that eating the peas will provide plenty of pocket change, and eating greens ensures plenty of paper currency over the coming year.

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