There is a Southern tradition that is pervasive in my family: black eyed peas on New Years. Is this a thing in anybody else’s family or am I the only weird one here? It’s weird because I live in Washington and most people have never heard of this. To my mother’s bewilderment, we had soup, and it was delicious.
“No black eyed peas?”
I could sense the shame I had brought upon my ancestors in my mother’s text. Multiple bean eating, superstitious ancestors surely rolled over in their graves yesterday.
It’s all good though.
What she doesn’t know, is that I sang a Black Eyed Peas song in my head and I’m pretty sure that counts for something.
Besides, I’m pretty sure all the beans in the world isn’t going to bring enough luck to fix what 2017 will inevitably bring. I’m not a pessimist, but with the outcome of the last election has in store for us this year, I’m pretty sure we’re all screwed…beans or no beans.
On a happier note, my mother told me that they had steak and a rack of lamb to accompany their black eyed peas on New Years and I was surprised at how…normal it sounded. My mother loves to cook, and she’s good at it, but when it comes to pairing foods, well…that’s where I get the most enjoyment from it.
“So, what’d you have for dinner?” I’ll innocently ask on any given day of the week.
“Tuna casserole, french toast, chex mix, and a can of spinach.” (It’s extremely important that there is always a veggie).
I think what has happened here is that there is a strict set of protocols for meal designing. There has to be a meat, a starch, and a vegetable. No exceptions.
Sometimes I amuse myself with what a Mom Menu would look like. I mean, what if she had her own restaurant?
Mom Menu (Prototype)
The “I had a bunch of leftovers. I couldn’t let them go bad!”
A generous helping of spam casserole with a side of canned green beans. Served with homemade bread, a piece of cold leftover fried chicken, and some cheesecake.
The “I closed my eyes, reached into the freezer, and…”
Four perogies nestled along a side of a day old pizza slice. Served with frozen peas and cocktail sausages wrapped in suspicious dough.
The “You liked it the last four nights”
Seven Costco meatballs served with chicken noodle soup, canned beets, and graham crackers.
The “After Six” Special
A glass of Earl Grey tea and the forced nightly fasting
The “Oh my gosh it’s almost five o’clock and I have no idea what we’re having”
Two scrambled eggs, four slices of tomato, a can of Vienna sausages, and three graham crackers.
All joking aside, my mom makes the best chicken enchiladas EVER. They’re huge and full of yummy cheese and chicken and magical spices from far off lands.
Serve those right on up with a bowl of cheerios and some frozen corn and we’re all set!
(Ok, maybe not ALL joking aside)