For many years our family begins each New Year with Hopping John for lunch or dinner. It’s a family favorite and easy to make. Many people believe black-eyed peas on New Years bring good fortune.
Spicy Hopping John
2 cups of canned black-eyed peas ½ lb bacon (reserve 2 Tablespoon of bacon drippings)
1 medium chopped onion 2 minced garlic cloves
½ teasp. of crushed red pepper flakes ½ teasp. Black pepper
½ teasp. Salt 1 cup white uncooked white rice
Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onion in reserved bacon drippings until soft and clear. Add garlic and pepper flakes to onion and heat for a couple of minutes. When rice is done, add black-eyed peas, cooked bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.
There are many variations for this southern dish so feel free to experiment and make it your own.
My sons enjoyed it and wondered why we only had it once a year. While we never ate it because it would bring good luck, we enjoyed Hopping John every New Year and hope that our new year would be blessed.
I hope your New Year will be healthy, safe,
and filled with hope and joy.