Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I dedicate this pot full of black eyed peas to Alberta Biehl. She's my Gram. Every year when I was little (and for her whole life long) she would make us eat black eyed peas on New Years. It's a southern tradition. Eating the peas is supposed to bring prosperity in the coming year. When I was little I hated those damned peas. I thought they were Mega, Mega GROSS. It was near torture to have to eat them. But I did. Because my Gram had me believin' pretty hard core that if I did not eat them I would be a busted up mess for the whole year. From the time I was about 16 until I was about 25 I skipped the peas. And guess what? I was a busted up mess pretty much that whole time. Coincidence? We will never know for sure. I am eating the peas now just to cover my ass. Better safe than sorry.

Here's a photo of my Gram and her best friend Florence from back in the day. These two women could cook. My Gram is the one on the right. How cute are they? My Auntie Florence passed away years ago... she was a riot. She was one of those women that was a true force of nature. My gram is 83 and still kickin' butt. I am going to call her up after I finish this post and tell her we ate the peas today. She will sleep better tonight knowing that we did.

The funny thing is I really like black eyed peas now.... all those years I agonized over having to eat them and now I think they are pretty darned tasty. Weird eh? When I went to the grocery the other day to buy some for today there was a mountainous display of them in the produce department. We are in the south after all. These people are all eatin' the peas today.

I cook them in a mixture of veggie broth and Martinelli's Apple Juice. I use Martinelli's when cooking just about any dried bean. It adds a great deal of sweetness and is nicely offset by a dash of cayenne pepper.

We are taking it easy today. A lot of people peeled out this morning to head back home after the holiday so the RV park is quieting down again. We are in the middle of some horrid arctic cold blast pushing down from the north so it will be a good night to snuggle in and watch a movie or two.

I will be continuing my story "How We Became a Tribe of Three" over the course of this whole month. I figure it is a good way to get through January since we will not be on the move and I won't have as many travel stories this month.

Oh and also... Rudy once again made it to the pages of "Stuff On My Mutt." I think this is his third time! What a celebrity.

Happy New Year!


Groover said...

Traditions and superstitions are a weird thing, aren't they? I've given up on a few since I moved away from Germany (the really silly ones like e.g. not washing and hanging sheets between 24th Dec and 6th Jan because apparently bad ghosts get caught in the sheets and stick around for the year ... yeah right! Sorry Mum, I did wash the sheets last week) But I did make the traditional potato salad on New Years Eve.

I like your "peas" superstition. And your grandma is beautiful.

Bethany said...

Hi Groover... that is a weird one about the ghosts in the sheets! Why don't they get tangled up in there any other time of the year? And do ghosts follow the calendar? It raises a lot of confusing questions for sure.

My Gram is a real hot ticket. She has always been a show stopper. Thanks for saying so... :)

Momo said...

When I open my recipe card box all of the handwriting is that of either Gram or Auntie Florence. All of the recipes bring back great memories of the good years of their cooking and the great hospitality they showed for anyone who was lucky enough to sit at their tables.
Aunt Florence and Uncle Bones used to always come to our house for New Years Day dinner.
Of course we always had the peas, and I remember how much you disliked them.....how funny.
I hope they do the job for you this year!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bethany, thank you for visiting my blog - I will be taking some time to think about your comment.
I have read a few days of your site- what an amazing thing you are doing, what a sense of adventure, I really admire you! I am so different, love my security.
The black eye peas look delicious- I like them in rice with coconut as in the West Indies, and a few chopped dried apricots add sweetness too. Just made adzuki bean stew tonight, so looks like 2nd of Jan will be a windy one for you and me both!
Look forward to reading more about your journeys.
best wishes, Cinnamon.

Bethany said...

Hi Cinnamon... glad you got the comment I left for you.

I love adzuki beans! They are so pretty when they are dried. Your recipe for black eyed peas sounds delicious too. Anything with coconut milk and apricots is alright by me.

Thanks for dropping by...

Groover said...

Hi Bethany,
Apparently it's because of the 12 holy nights. Probably more ghost traffic in the air than usual. :-) Also: What you dream in these nights will apparently come true in the following year, e.g. your dream of the night from 24th/25th will come true in January, the dream of 25th/26th in February and so forth ...

Michelle said...

The only Black Eyed Peas I've had would be on a CD...If only I had Alberta in my life sooner. I've had a very sheltered life when it comes down to it.

Anyway, love Rudy's latest tabloid appearance!

Bethany said...

Groover.... thanks for the added details. That IS some old school superstition! Now I wish I could remember what I dreamed about on those nights!

Michelle, I would not rule out the possibility that LISTENING to the Black Eyed Peas may actually work for you. The ones we had here were pretty much silent but then again they were about to be consumed. I picture them almost like tiny little monks who have taken a vow. They are very serious about their work.