In the South, every New Year’s Day you will find plates filled with ham, black eyed peas and stewed tomatoes. According to tradition, black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health. Ham represents good luck. Dishes vary by region but the practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. The humble black-eyed pea was ignored by Sherman’s troops as other crops were destroyed making them  a major food source after the Civil War. Ever since, their nutty flavor has been enjoyed on New Year’s Day as a frugal dish for a more prosperous year.

New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas |

New Year’s Eve Black Eyed Peas and Ham


2 Cups Dried Black Eyed PeasNew Year's Day Black Eyed Peas |

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Can Stewed Tomatoes

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 cloves of diced garlic

2 cups diced cooked Ham (or ham hock if you want to be really authentic)


Submerge 2 cups of black eyed peas under 2 inches of water in a medium pot.

Add in salt, bay leaf and olive oil.

Boil on high for 30 minutes, adding water as needed to keep peas submerged.

Check the consistency of the black eyed peas. You should be able to easily smush them with a fork. If they are still hard, continue to cook until black eyed peas are soft.

When ready, rinse black eyed peas thoroughly and return to pot.

Combine diced cloves of garlic, tomatoes, and sugar in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for five minutes.

Pour tomato sauce into pot with black eyed peas.

Add ham and boil together for 10 minutes, stirring well.

Serve and have a happy New Year’s Day!


Black Eyed Peas Paired with a "Hangover Mimosa" - Champagne with Vitamin Water
Black Eyed Peas Paired with a “Hangover Mimosa” – Champagne with Vitamin Water

As I enjoy my black eyed peas today and reflect on this past year, I have to appreciate what a truly amazing year it has been!

Here are my personal top 10 highlights from 2014:

Married my best friend!

Wedding Entrance

Traveled out of the country to St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, & Puerto Rico

Antigua St Lucia |

Ran a successful summer camp
Adventure Camp Dress Up Day www.sweetteasweetie.comPut on 4 outdoor movie nights

Burlingame Outdoor Movie Night

Supported two good friends and my brother as they got married

Weddings Weddings Weddings

Went to 3 Dreamworks Movie Premier Parties

Peabody and Sherman Wrap PartyPenguins of Madagascar Wrap Party Penguins of Madagascar Wrap Party How to Train Your Dragon 2

Survived a brutally hilly 5 mile race

Los Gatos Dammit Run

Attended 3 local professional games: a Giants baseball game, a Quakes soccer game, and a Sharks hockey game

SF Giants SJ Earthquakes San Jose Sharks

Took weekend getaways to Healdsburg, Napa, Sonoma, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Lake Oroville

Haydon Street Inn in Healdsburg Sonoma Downtown Napa Lake Oroville

Launched Sweet Tea Sweetie


Thank you so much to all of you who have joined me in this journey. I am looking forward to all that 2015 will bring.

Happy New Year!

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