Start off the new year with peas

Published 7:44 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Well, we’re wrapping up another year. This is such a good time of year for reflection; a time to give a special thanks for health, family and friends. It’s like another chapter in your life is about to close.

New Years Eve is when friends come together to celebrate a new year. A tradition for New Years is of course eating black eyed peas. I never was one for eating them on New Years until I moved down to the Gulf. That is where I was finally introduced to this fabulous tradition. I found a couple of different recipes that I’ve personally made and they are great for cooking black eyed peas.

Black-eyed peas with sausage and barbecue sauce

Email newsletter signup


1 pound dried black-eyed peas

1 pound link sausage, or your favorite

1 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce


Rinse, prepare, soak, and cook peas in about 3 cups water, following directions on the package. Drain and reserve half of the cooking liquid. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage and onions; drain off excess fat. Place peas in a 3-quart casserole; add sausage and onions. Stir in reserved liquid, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and barbecue sauce. Bake at 300° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Use ham hocks or hog jowl in this basic black eyed pea recipe, also known as Hoppin’ John.


2 pounds dried black-eyed peas

8 ounces hog jowl or 2 small to medium ham hocks

6 cups water water

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon sugar

salt, to taste


Pick over the peas and rinse well, then soak in cold water overnight. Place ham hocks or hog jowl in large kettle with water, bring to boil, and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Drain peas and add to the hog jowl. Add whole onion, crushed red pepper, sugar, and salt. Add more water if needed to cover peas. Cover tightly and simmer slowly 2 hours or until peas are tender. Serve with hot cooked rice and cornbread. Serves 8.

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy New Years. May God bless each and every one of you. Until next time, have a good day today and a better day tomorrow!

Note: Jennifer Whaley is the chef and owner of Lemon Grass on Highway 80.