The princes and the peas

It is traditional in Tennessee where I grew up (but where I haven’t lived for years) to serve and eat blackeyed peas (for luck)  on New Year’s Day. Though I find myself these days an accidental Yankee, having now spent over half my life in New England and having the only offspring on either side of my family who were born north of the Line, I try hard to maintain these traditions.

You never know–they could go off to college or the big city and fall in love with someone from South Carolina or Virgina or Alabama, where knowing about such things would stand them in good stead with the local gentry. Or the local sheriff.

So we eat blackeyed peas. And love them. Okay, two of us love them. Second child and I are big fans of blackeyed peas. When she was little she tasted them and announced that they tasted like dirt, then added, “In a good way.”

And so they do–they taste just as wonderfully earthy as they look. And she and I eat them all year round.

The guys, however–my better half and First Child–have other ideas. These two gentleman are no fans of blackeyed peas–indeed, they are far too sensitive for such lowly fare–but I know better than to risk living all year with people who did not eat their peas on New Year’s Day.

So every January 1 they each eat . . . one pea. Which I try to serve up with as much pomp as possible. This year I cooked up a nice ham, some spectacular rolls, and a pot of black eyed peas.

Their highnesses each ate one of these:

Alas, my dinner plans went awry anyway. Among the four of us we are sharing

  • four extremely sore throats
  • four headaches
  • four sets of various aches and pains
  • four cases of the cough that will not die
  • one two sinus infections
  • one earache infection
  • one doctor-certified case of bronchitis
  • one high fever
  • chills all around

And a partridge in a pear tree.

So all that actually got consumed tonight were

  • Two single black eyed peas
  • One small dish of blackeyed peas
  • One small ham sandwich
  • Three cups of tea
  • Many large glasses of cold water
  • Six ibuprofen
  • One dose of antibiotics that don’t seem to be doing a bit of good

And two  peppermint sticks.

Hey, a gal’s gotta honor her roots, even under trying circumstances.

Hope your 2009 is off to a healthier start than ours.

3 responses to “The princes and the peas

  1. Great title! Hope you all feel better soon.

  2. i was raised in new england, and the family doctor, no less, prescribed hot tea with honey and lemon for pretty much anything that ailed us all growing up. i can’t hurt, and it’s cheaper than buying medicine.

    feel better. more black-eyed peas can’t hurt, either.

  3. Yep–tea is just the thing (we even have our own bees’ honey). Thank you for the sympathy to go along with it! Time to go out and stock up on lemons.

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