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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hog Jowls Black Eyed Peas Collards and Other Good Things

Well,  the new Years Day Feast is behind us and we are left with all those extra pounds we seem to find during the holidays. 

According to tradition in the South there are certain foods which are to be eaten on the first day of the year. There's hog jowls, black eyed peas, cornbread, collard greens, cabbage and all the fixin's to go along with them.  It is always a feast!!

Now for you northerners who think bacon was raised in a meat case and comes in a twelve ounce package  let me explain about hog jowls.  They're kinda like bacon except better  - they look like bacon, taste like bacon and smell like bacon except they are not bacon.  They're "hog cheeks".     No, not the part where the ham comes from - they come from the face of the hog.  They are sometimes used to season  beans and peas.  Sometimes they are sliced and fried like bacon. They can be tough so they need to be cooked a little longer than bacon.

The reason we eat hog jowls, blackeyed peas and collards is because our ancestors have eaten them since the Civil War.  Tradition states that during the Civil War when the Northerners were looting and plundering southern farms the only thing they didn't take was the hog jowls and the cow peas.  Northerners considered these animal fodder and left them alone.  That was all there was to eat and they were lucky they had that.  So today we eat them for luck just like our ancestors did.  Collards and cabbage are green and signify money  or cash.
So if you are in the South on New Years Day and get a hankerin' for some good food just drop in and we will see get some luck and money or at least a belly full.

That's it fer today!

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