Black-Eyed Peas: A New Year's Day Tradition

Suzanne Lieurance

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New Year's Day is full of traditions. Watching college ball games on TV, making resolutions, and eating certain foods that are thought to bring good luck are just a few typical traditions in the USA.

Black-eyed peas are a New Year's Day tradition in the South. Eating them on this day supposedly brings good luck and riches for the coming year. Many Southerners make something called Hoppin’ John, a mixture of black-eyed peas, rice, and bacon (which is typically eaten with collard greens) for New Year's Day.

If you're planning a New Year's Day celebration for friends and family you'll want to serve Black-Eyed Peas for good luck, of course. But Hoppin’ John and collard greens just don't seem like the perfect snack when guests are watching those college ball games on TV. Try this delicious Black-Eyed Pea Dip instead. It's bound to assure everyone's good fortune for 2006.


1 1/4 c. cooked or canned black-eyed peas

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (3 oz. ) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. cumin (or chili powder for a spicier dip)

1 1 /2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 bunch of green onions, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor, combine (until relatively smooth - the dip can be as chunky or as smooth as you like) the peas, garlic, cream cheese, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper.

Place the dip in a pie pan. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the dip is heated thoroughly and the cheese bubbles (about 20 minutes. ) Sprinkle the green onions over the top. Serve with tortilla chips.

Suzanne Lieurance is a freelance writer, children's author, and owner of the Three Angels Gourmet Co. Read her daily food tips at or visit for “heavenly gourmet mixes. "


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