Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year


Happy New Year!  I wish for you and yours a lovely day and a year filled with love and joy. We usually spend the day with a meal of black-eyed peas and rice--Hopping John. recipe to follow. Cornbread is a great accompaniment. It's a great way to use leftover ham from Christmas.  There are usually a few football games to watch and of course the Rose Bowl Parade. We usually leave our decorations up until after the new year.  My mother-in-law always felt it was bad luck to allow your Christmas decor to see the new year.  How about you?   I've never been the supertitious type.  Having said that, I do want to have our black-eyed peas for good luck. ha ha

Nellie Stevens Holly


                                      Hopping John Recipe

1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped green pepper (I used 2 red peppers)
1 cup chopped cooked ham
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small cans of black-eyed peas
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce if desired
3 cups cooked rice
salsa if desired
sour cream if desired

Saute veggies

In a large skillet, cook onion, peppers and ham in oil for about 4 minutes.  Drain black-eyed peas, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid.  Add black-eyed peas, reserved liquid and pepper sauce ( if desired) to ham mixture and stir to combine. Heat over medium until bubbly.


Spoon over rice.


Top with salsa ( if desired) and top with sour cream.  Strangely enough, I love catsup on black-eyed peas.  Variation, omit rice and serve over cornbread.  We like Hopping John served over rice and cornbread on the side.
This recipe is quick.  Of course, if you want, you can make it very inexpensively by using dried black-eyed peas that have been cleaned, and soaked overnight, then cooked.

The eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is very interesting. During the Civil War, Union soldiers took the livestock and food supplies from the farms and towns they came through for their own consumption.  They basically felt the field peas were only fit for animals and left them.  If it weren't for the peas that were left in the fields more would have starved.  So it is thought that eating peas on New Year's came from these cherished memories of being saved from starvation.

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."
Helen Keller


  1. Hello Martha Ellen ~ in the UK it is traditional to take our decorations down after Twelfth Night ~ so we take ours down on January 6th, and if we don't make it on the 6th we are then supposed to wait until the 12th. I loved reading the history of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day ~~~

    1. Deborah, the taking down of decorations on the Epiphany is certainly celebrated by most of the world. Interesting about the 12th if you miss the 6th! I love to hear about customs in the UK. Happy New Year! ♥


  2. Martha, You had a blog! How interesting about the peas left behind by Union troops, I love bits of historic trivia such as this. The best year ever to you and yours. Jeri

  3. Jeri, this is just my second post! Thank you for stopping by! I'm learning! Happy New Year! ♥

  4. Hi, Martha Ellen ... having just read Cathy's post at Morning Musings, then seeing your comment, of course I HAD to come visit you as well! Kudos on taking the leap into blogging. My list of bloggers to follow is becoming a bit daunting, and takes up WAY too much of my time, but I learn so much from reading them. And we are mutual 'girlfriends' of Susan Branch; have followed her for years and met her in 2000. How exciting that you'll be tracing some of her footsteps in England! Looking forward to hearing more ...

    1. Hi Sharon, Thank you so much for visiting! I have so much to learn. I understand about that long list of blogs. It's so nice to have "met" so many through Susan Branch. So many kindred spirits! Happy New Year to you and yours! ♥

  5. Hi Martha Ellen. I hadn't signed up yet to receive notifications for your posts because I figured I had a few days in which to do so. Surprise! You've posted twice since I last visited already. I meant to have blackeyed-peas on New Years--being from the South for the earliest part of my life it was a given. We went shopping on Wednesday, in fact, but I still came home without them. In discussing this with my husband he asked me how the tradition began. I didn't know, but now I can tell him. :-) I will have to try your Hoppin' John recipe. I didn't realize it had all the other things besides beans and rice! Yours looks yummy.

    I'm leaving my tree up until Sunday because tomorrow I'm hosting a potluck for my Tasha Tudor group in honor of Epiphany. I'm calling it 9th night since the 12th night falls on a weekday. We waited to get our tree late so that it would last this long, but it has started to drop needles, so it will be time to come down on the 4th.

    I'd say you were a seasoned Blogger, posting recipes already!

    1. Cathy, your Tasha Tudor potluck sounds like fun. I wish the Va chapter was not so far away. I'm jumping into this blogging thing feet first! I need to be a better editor. Thank you for your encouragement! ♥


Your comments will show after moderation. Thank you. ♥