Black Eyed Pea Soup

Black Eyed Pea Soup


From Barbara Watkins, Texas

Isn't it amazing how the sense of smell and taste can bring back memories? When I think of the delicious aromas that go with Christmas dinner I'm transported back 40 years ago to my Oma's (German for grandmother)old farmhouse kitchen.

I can see right now the blue and white checked oil cloth that covered the big square table where she worked to make the holiday meal. She always cooked the traditional turkey and dressing with all the trimmings, but each dish had her old-world touch. The dressing included a combination of bread crumbs, ground beef, and apples, and the green beans always simmered in a lucious coating of butter and cream.

Dinner was served in the dining room where all the leaves were put into the table to accomodate the many relatives. Except for the kids, that is. All the young cousins couldn't fit at the "big table" so we were set up to eat at card tables in the living room. We were more than happy to have our own place where we could eat, talk, and laugh without having to worry about our best table manners.

Mixed with the wonderful smells of Christmas dinner was the pungent aroma of a fresh cut cedar, which was standing in the corner decorated with enchanting bubble lights and silver tinsel.

In those simpler times it was also a tradition to have lots of apples, oranges, and nuts for holiday treats, and even now those things can bring back sweet memories of happy Christmas celebrations on the farm. These days we cherish old traditions and at the same time make new ones too. Each New Years Day we eat Black Eyed Pea Soup for "good luck in the new year".

And perhaps someday that family favorite will be included in the memories of future generations.

BLACK EYED PEA SOUP

1 lb. dried black eyed peas


1 lg. can tomatoes and green chilis

1 lg. onion cubed

3 med. potatoes cubed

12 slices bacon

salt and pepper to taste

worcestershire and tabasco sauce to taste

The night before the day you want to eat the soup, put the dried peas in a crockpot with more than plenty of water to cover the peas. Cook on low overnight. The next moring fry the bacon up crisp, remove from pan and break into crumbles. Then saute the potatoes and onions in the bacon drippings. When the potatoes and onions are soft, add them and the bacon, and the tomatoes and green chilis to the peas. Season and simmer all day and eat for lunch and/or dinner.

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