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{Cross-posted from the Southern Command HQ notification system}

Okay all you Southern Command constituents, it’s that time of year to make preparations for the annual New Year’s Day tradition of black-eyed peas.

Here’s a good recipe for the peas.

Now remember, the tradition is

The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:

•Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.

•Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

And finally, some things to remember whilst you go about your celebrating:

•For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.

•Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

•In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.

•Adding a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving is another tradition practiced by some. When served, the person whose bowl contains the penny or dime receives the best luck for the New Year, unless of course, the recipient swallows the coin, which would be a rather unlucky way to start off the year.

The catch to all of these superstitious traditions is that the black-eyed peas are the essential element and eating only the greens without the peas, for example, will not do the trick.

ThatIsAll™

And enjoy your celebration responsibly. You are hereby ordered to return to duty promptly on January 2nd. Do I make myself clear, soldier?

Yes? Then DISMISSED!™




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