Most of my stories start, end or veer in to stories about New Orleans where I was lucky enough to live for three years. One of the many traditions that I took from there was that of having black eyed beans on New Years Day (NYD) to bring luck in the upcoming year. A New Year's dish of black eyed beans was always accompanied by a ham hock, rice, cabbage and a few pickled onions. I thought this was a spin on the famous red beans and rice dish served throughout New Orleans on Mondays. However I discovered several years years ago that beans and pork were popular NYD dishes throughout the world. Black eyed beans are eaten throughout the American South and are mentioned in the Talmud as being good luck to eat them on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. In Italy a popular NYD dish is cotechino e lenticchie or pork sausages and lentils. The lentils symbolising abundance and the round sliced sausages mimic the shape of coins and are meant to bring wealth. The eating of round foods is also practised in the Netherlands, the Phillipines and many other places throughout the world.
So each year regardless of how the previous year has gone I prepare my good luck black eyed beans. This year I prepared them with onion, garlic, carrot in a six-pepper t'chup and stock sauce served with bacon, griddled cabbage and pickled onions.