“My mother always cooked black-eyed peas for our first meal of each New Year. She would start the peas soaking early in the morning, and they would be simmering on the stove all afternoon. With a black iron skillet of cornbread, these black-eyed peas would make up our supper every January 1st. To not have them would be tempting fate according to her. I carry on this tradition with a few small culinary changes every New Yearâ€TMs Day. Bon appetit!” —Teresa Blackburn

New Yearâ€TMs Good Luck Black-Eyed Pea Soup Ingredients:
1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
¼ lb. mostly lean ham hock, cut into chunks 1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 cups chicken stock water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Soak black-eyed peas in just enough water to cover them for about 2 hours. Drain. 2. Place drained peas in a stock pot with enough water to cover, along with the ham hock, onions, garlic cloves, thyme, chicken stock, and salt and black pepper to taste. 3. Bring mixture to a boil, turn to low, and simmer until peas are softened, but not mushy. This can take around an hour or two. Taste and adjust seasonings. 4. Serve with your favorite cornbread recipe and Parmigiano-Reggiano for good luck in the coming year.