Happy 2024, my friends! I hope you all had a stellar New Year's Eve and are enjoying a fabulous New Year's Day!
Are you doing anything special today?
I eat black eyed peas for breakfast every New Year's Day. It's a tradition with which I was raised. The family tradition is to fix them like I typically make pinto beans with ham but with the addition of new potatoes and occasionally cabbage. Sometimes I have new potatoes, but they're usually just regular gold potatoes.
This year, I decided to change things up a bit. I put my black-eyed peas and smoked ham in my Crock Pot along with some pinto beans, gold potatoes, and a few handfuls of greens. This is my first year to add greens, but I've been reading different folklore, and the greens (usually collard greens and mustard greens) are supposed to bring prosperity to you in the new year.
I did not have any collard greens, but I did have some fresh Japanese mustard greens, spinach, beet greens, green chard, and green oak leaf lettuce. I enjoy those particular greens in a salad mix I buy from the grocery store. They are greens, right? So, why not use them in my New Year's concoction?
I waited until after midnight to begin my preparations. After my husband and I toasted the New Year, and he lumbered off to bed, I began. I put everything in my Crock Pot, seasoned it, and turned it to the high setting. It smelled amazing when I woke up this morning, and I couldn't wait to have my special New Year's breakfast.
In case you are wondering, my black-eyed peas were delicious. The smoked ham and greens added a depth of flavor that I found quite satisfying. I believe I will make them the same way next year.
Folklore traditions fascinate me. I recently learned about a mountain tradition that I tried quite hard to observe today, but I couldn't quite do it. Some folklore states that you shouldn't clean anything on New Year's Day, and you especially should not do laundry. The tradition goes that if you do laundry on New Year's Day, you will lose a loved one that year. I sincerely hope that is not the case.
While I'm not an extremely superstitious person, I thought it might be nice to do no cleaning or laundry and simply concentrate on my writing today. Unfortunately, my sense of duty got the better of me, and I did my dishes and two loads of laundry. I also sanitized my kitchen counter after I sloshed my holiday black-eyed pea brew while dishing it into small containers for work this week.
If you know me, you know I don't like to waste anything, and that includes time. I could get those chores done today while I have a nice quiet house and several hours to do them, or I could wait until tomorrow after work and be rushed. I don't get home until 6:00 p.m. or later, and it's a pain to get everything done before I'm ready to crawl into bed. Plus, my husband will be expecting me to eat dinner with him and probably engage in conversation.
My time is valuable, so I'm making the most of it. I'm still getting some writing done. I'm just interrupted by the washer and dryer needing attention now and then.
Do you eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Day? Do you have any traditions or superstitions you observe?
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