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Eat your black-eyed peas!

At the stroke of midnight Fri., Dec. 31, we’ll welcome another new year – 2022.
It is a Southern tradition – and certainly an Oklahoma tradition – to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity.
Black-eyed peas symbolize wealth because they look like coins, and prosperity, because they swell when cooked. Black-eyed peas are often served with collard greens, representing money, and cornbread, which represents gold.
The tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day dates back to the War Between the States, (also known as the Civil War).
In November of 1864, General William T. Sherman and his troops burned nearly all of Atlanta, and then marched from there toward the Port of Savannah. Known as Sherman’s March to the Sea, General Sherman ordered his troops to strip the land of all food, crops, and livestock, to destroy anything they could not carry away, and to burn the houses and barns of people who tried to fight back – making “old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”
The troops followed orders, and the surviving Southerners were left with nothing . . . EXCEPT black-eyed peas.
The black-eyed pea supply was left completely intact. Those blasted northern yankee troops did not leave these peas as some sort of good-will gesture, they simply did not know people actually ATE black-eyed peas.
In the north, black-eyed peas were known as “cow peas” or “field peas.” Cattle ate cow peas and humans ate only English peas. Since the north believed only cattle ate black-eyed peas, and they had already either taken or eaten all of the cattle, they saw no need to destroy this crop.
The rest is history! After the War Between the States, black-eyed peas were the only food source left in the South. Black-eyed peas saved thousands of Southerners from starvation, and gave the South a second chance.
From New Year’s Day forward, tradition grew to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for luck and prosperity.
We, at the Shopper News Note, wish you a healthy and prosperous 2022 . . . and PLEASE eat your black-eyed peas

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