Friday, September 7, 2012

Blacked Peas and Greens for Rosh Hashanah

Black-eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread on January 1st were a staple in my home. My mother, a North Carolinian born in the south, raised in the north and still in the Midwest made sure that we ate a full plate of the beans and stewed greens. She said they'd bring us wealth and luck, her mother told her the same thing and to this day on January 1st I eat black eyed peas an greens.

When my partner, a white Jew from Texas, insisted we buy black eyed peas on January 1st the first year we dated I raised an eye brow (or at least I tried since I can't actually raise one eye brow). What did this white girl know about greens and black eyes for New Year, I thought. Turns out, the tradition isn't a black American tradition, but a southern tradition.

Since I was always the only black girl in school, having a tradition no one else, I assumed it was based on my race. It felt good to know that my sweet Texan Jew also shared this tradition. It was a shock to us both that Syrian Jews (and other non-Ashkenazi Jews) also eat black eyed peas and greens for Rosh Hashanah to insure a healthy and prosperous new year.

I wrote a piece for The Jew and the Carrot that has my mom's recipe towards the end. Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erika,
    Loved your piece in the Jew and the Carrot, as a sometime contributor to JCarrot, I was itchin' to submit a piece on the similarities between Jewish and Southern cuisine after I returned from the Low Country- but think you said it all.
    Welcome to the faith, we're lucky to have you.

    Rachel Harkham


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