Why are black-eye peas good luck?

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This is the story I have and I don't know how valid it is.

Feeding large Southern families in the past was always a financial challenge. For example, Moms made a lot of cornbread because cornmeal was cheaper than flour. Beef was an exception. Any extra calves were needed to provide cash money to pay the bank and various charge accounts. The chicken population was getting low around January 1st. Chicken and dressing and chicken and dumplings were good way to extend a chicken for a large family.

Agricultural employment oppotunities to obtain cash were few by the end of the year and if there had been much cash it was used to buy some kind of Christmas present.

Black-eye peas were cheap and prevalent in Winter because they were easy to grow and easy to keep. Kids were getting pretty tired of the black-eye peas about this time. Some Moms would put maybe a dime, a couple of nickles and a few pennies in the pot of beans when no one was looking (they didn't have the same hygiene concerns we have today). In the Depression and earlier a dime or nickle was real money to a kid. The kids would eagerly eat as many bowls of black-eye peas as they could. And for maybe a quarter, Moms and Dads had made the day special for their children.

-- paul (primrose@centex.net), January 01, 2002


Makes a good story. I imagine though, if they had a quarter to put in the pot, which bought quite a bit back then, I'm sure it went into the pot in a much different form than change for the kids.

-- Laura (lauramleek@yahoo.com), January 01, 2002.

how lucky was it when a kid choked to death on a nickel?

-- Stan (sopal@net-port.com), January 01, 2002.

I just heard the 'silver dime in the pot' from a friend, but it is in the cabbage pot on New Years.

My mom told me that for every black eyed pea I ate, that I would earn a dollar in the coming year. I used to think eating fifty was a BIG deal. LOL

-- Rose (open_rose@hotmail.com), January 01, 2002.

Stan, it depends on the kid..... JUST KIDDING!!!!

This year, we're eating blackeyed peas and collard greens. We're not taking ANY chances! LOL!

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), January 01, 2002.

In England they used to put a sixpence in the Christmas pudding for good luck to the person who found it. Our Aunt sent us one last year at Christmas to put in our pudding and wouldln't you know we forgot it this year!

-- kim (fleece@eritter.net), January 01, 2002.

Saw this o PBS show last night....When the Civil War was moving into the Southern States,the Federal troops burned just about everything they came across,to keep the Southerners from being able to retaliate. They burned cotton fields,hay fields,corn crops,wheat,gardens,everything they came in contact with,but didnt bother with buurning the "Field Peas" that were grown mostly for animal feed. This is the only thing most surviving Southern famalies had to eat,and it kept them nourished and alive ! And till this day,most all Southerners consider blackeyed peas,or as they are sometimes called field peas,to be a good luck meal that is traditionally eaten on New Years Day,as they know this is about the lowest priced meal they could have,and things will hopefully improve for the rest of the year. I dont know why people in the North would think they were good luck charms,or if they even do,but that is why Southern Famalies have Blackeyed Peas and Corn Bread on New Years Day. So far,it has made me rich,but who knows what shape I would be in if I had not eaten them all these years? LOL ! Don

-- Don (twosloans@texoma.net), January 01, 2002.

We have always had them on new years too..and I am in Calif. Lots of southern roots though....heck...all southern roots!! So...I don't take any chances..and the kids all have at least a spoonful just to be sure.

-- Jenny (auntjenny6@aol.com), January 02, 2002.

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