Well it’s here the New Year- that day when folks tells themselves, “I’m gonna, I’m fixin’ to and get it done!” Well I hope so, ‘cause I’ve a lot of things from years passed that I sure would like to check off the list.
But there is one tradition that I’m sticking to, that most folks in the South will understand, and that’s eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. My mother always made black-eyed peas on this day because it was supposed to bring you good luck in the next year. Now I ain’t too sure about luck. As the old-timers said what’s going to happen will happen and if you’re in the right spot it won’t hurt. But I’m not one to stray from tradition so let’s keep on riding that ol’ horse that never bucks.
The origin of this recipe is from the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. My Dad would tell me meat was so hard to come by that you sort of felt like a one-winged chicken hawk just trying to survive. Dried pantry items were really the only things on hand and folks had to be creative thinking of recipes that would stick to your ribs. There were many substitutions for meat back then and this is one of them that I’m passing on. I’ve added a little more seasoning, but I’m sure I make it with the same amount of love the Greatest Generation made it with back then, just trying to get by.
So, let’s not wait ‘til noon or supper to eat this- let’s kick start this day at the crack of dawn… unless your head is throbbing too much from your bad decisions from the night before! Or if you can’t get up for breakfast, call it that fancy word them lazy folks use when they just can’t seem to get up at a decent hour- brunch.
Now this may not turn your world into a brand new place but it will warm your belly especially if shared with friends and family. As for me and the beagle dog, well we figure we’re the luckiest ones on Earth because we both love a beautiful woman. And when we wake up and she’s still there it’s a new year every day.
In this new year, be ever mindful of the little things that we might overlook or take for granted and start each day with a smile and an open heart. Because these little actions will bring you more than just that thing called luck.
New Year Poor Man’s Sausage
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Makes about 6 patties
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 (15.8-ounce) can black eyed peas
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 egg, beaten
Bacon grease or cooking oil
1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sage, red pepper, celery salt and cumin. Set aside.
2. Using a colander, drain the peas and scrape into a medium bowl. Mash the peas with a spoon and then stir in the onion and egg.
3. Scrape the pea mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
4. Flour your hands and spoon about a 2 tablespoon-sized dollop into your hands. Pat the mixture into about a 3-inch patty.
5. Pour enough grease/oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Heat the grease over medium-high heat.
6. When the grease is hot, place the patties in a large skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 – 3 minutes per side, mashing slightly. Remove and let cool slightly on a paper towel or rack. Serve warm.
Tip: These are best cooked in bacon drippings!