Bringing in the new year with black-eyed peas

I’m not terribly superstitious, but I do like my black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. After all, according to many Southerners, black-eyed peas bring good luck for the upcoming year. If you haven’t had yours yet, get busy!

Another Southern tradition that incorporates black-eyed peas is the wonderful dish — Hoppin’ John. This is a family favorite that is welcome any day of the year, not just New Year’s Day.

The recipe can be found in Finding Life’s Secret Sauce, but below are the step-by-step details.

Hoppin’ John


You’ll need to soak the peas the night before in water — just follow the directions on the back of the package. If you forget this step, there’s a quick soak option and another as well — buy a can of peas instead. I like the real thing, though.

The next day, the peas need to cook at least 2 hours, so plan accordingly. Start with frying up some bacon — I typically use about 3 slices to flavor the peas (a certain 8-year old wanted the leftovers for breakfast!). An alternative could be chopped carrots, celery, and onion — if you prefer to avoid bacon.

To cook the peas, drain them from the previous night then add new water, crumbled bacon bits, salt and pepper. I add about 1 TBSP of the bacon grease, too, for flavor. This is a Southern recipe, after all.

After they have cooked for 2+ hours, you can prepare the rice, cornbread and fixins’. (Cornbread recipe below.)

For the rice, combine about 1 1/2 cups of rice with 3 cups of water and cook according to package instructions.

For the fixins’, I like to add scallions, tomatoes and cheese (Monterey jack and/or cheddar.)

To assemble, place the peas on top of a bed of rice, then add peas and fixins’. If you are heat lover, add a some tobasco sauce, too.



  • 1 ¼ cups self-rising flour
  • ¾ c. corn meal
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients. While mixing, melt 1 TBSP of butter in a cast iron skillet in the oven.

Pour batter on top of melted butter and bake for about 20 minutes.


And another thing…

Another bonus in making black-eyed peas and hoppin’ johns is that you can use the leftovers to make delicious veggie burgers!

Melinda Hinson