Did you have collards and black-eyed peas last night?

I am wondering if families in Atlanta are still following the Southern tradition of making black-eyed peas and collard greens for New Year’s Day?

My mother always made ham, cornbread and black-eyed peas for New Year’s Day. She never made collard greens because she doesn’t like them. The black-eyed peas were supposed to represent the change and the greens were the cash. That may explain why they never made a million.

Michael’s family always did an Asian tradition of having noodles on New Year’s Day for a long life.

I did a little of both this year. I had planned to just make an Asian noodle bowl last night for dinner but about 4 p.m. I started getting antsy about not having black-eyed peas and collards so I ran to the store. I shamed my Southern roots and bought them both in a can, heated them in the microwave and made the kids eat a little of each just for luck.

As for other after-holiday traditions, when do you take down your decorations? Do they have to been down by New Year’s Day or do you wait for Epiphany or is just any time you manage to get it down?

Michael likes to get it down pretty quickly. I don’t think he cares that it’s done by New Year’s Day, but he doesn’t like the lights up too long after Christmas.

So what are your after-holiday traditions? What did you eat for New Year’s Day? Do you follow Southern tradition even if you weren’t born in the South? What other traditions do you keep for good luck?

34 comments Add your comment

Phil's lover

January 2nd, 2013
2:51 pm

Black eyed peas, greens, stewed tomatoes – as required according to my great-grandmother. A Virginian.


January 2nd, 2013
3:03 pm

Yep, we ate black-eyed peas and collard greens yesterday and I’m not from the south (though my husband is). We’re having corned beef & cabbage today mostly just b/c I haven’t had it in ages and it sounded good.

I am a “leave it up till New Year’s” person when it comes to decorations and will take everything down this weekend except for the Falcons tree which gets to stay up until they lose. Which after the way they played last weekend, might be after their first play-off game next weekend. I’m hoping they’ll surprise us and it gets to stay up until February though!!!

Jawga Boi

January 2nd, 2013
3:15 pm

We had the peas and cornbread. My wife opted for canned spinach instead of Collards. My take on that? I like collards but they do stink up the house pretty bad so it weighed out alright. This is the first time in our 30 year marriage that my wife and I didn’t eat at the in-laws at New Years. My Mother-in-law is a mighty good cook but I have to say though that my wife did a great job and also had fall off the bone pork chops out of the crock pot. Funny how things change. I grew up in a poor farming community and was pretty well fed up with the kind of food I just mentioned. I’d eat it every day now if I could get it.


January 2nd, 2013
3:26 pm

We had corned beef and cabbage instead. While I really like collards, I don’t like black-eyed peas. I also don’t like cornbread. Hopefully I won’t be deported from the south.


January 2nd, 2013
3:29 pm

We did. I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a pork roast, black eyed peas, and mustard greens (I admit, I used canned).

Decorations all came down this weekend, before New Years Day. Its a long process, every room has some sort of christmas decoration in it. I was getting tired of looking at it, since it all went up the day before Thanksgiving. I wanted my house back…LOL. It was all completed yesterday around 2:00……

Now, we are purging, and going room to room, closet to closet and getting rid of stuff. My garage is packed with crap. There’s going to be a few trips to the dump this week…..and a few trips to Goodwill to drop stuff off.


January 2nd, 2013
3:31 pm

Blackeye peas and turnips — collards are OK, but a bit strong. The decorations come down slowly, because they make the house happy and it’s sad when they are gone. So, we’re never in a hurry.


January 2nd, 2013
3:35 pm

No we did not. I am not southern by birth nor did I grow up in the south. My Mother did not know how to fry chicken, even though she was an excellent cook.

I love collards but not black eyed peas. I also love corned beef ( due to eating at many a Jewish deli in Chicago) and cabbage too.

Our decorations are still up and we will get them down this week ***probably***. Not something that stresses me out. I know someone on Facebook who announced that she had her Christmas cards mailed before Thanksgiving and took all of her decorations down yesterday….she was fretting because she usually has them down the day after Christmas. She had the flu and was really sick.

I used to be “johnny on the spot” about those things but no longer think it is a contest.


January 2nd, 2013
3:49 pm

@GTT – I think the house is kind of depressing without the decorations too. There’s nothing in January to get excited about. At least in February I have a few Valentine’s decorations and then Easter isn’t too far after that.


January 2nd, 2013
4:06 pm

We did the black-eyed peas thing, but skipped the collard greens. The peas were SOOOOO good, too.

Decorations came down yesterday, while watching the Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s always sad to have to take them down and the room always looks so empty afterwards, but you do have to take everything down and put it all away. Funny thing is, I know several people who’d happily leave everything up ALL YEAR long if their significant others/spouses would let them … I love the holidays, don’t get me wrong, but I do NOT want to see Christmas decor up when it’s 100 degrees outside!

Florida girl

January 2nd, 2013
4:07 pm

Made Black Eyed Pea Cakes recipe from Publix. Yum Yum!


January 2nd, 2013
4:21 pm

Yep, black eyed peas and combo of mustard and collard greens. The mustards help tone down the collards, that and pinch of sugar(removes any bitterness from the collards). BTW I always heard the peas were for good luck and the collards were for money.


January 2nd, 2013
4:24 pm

Ear Kalloo Old Years Night .It is a Virgin Islands dish made with okra, spanish and local greens and pig tails, ham and fish all cook together

K's Mom

January 2nd, 2013
4:31 pm

I had a hysterectomy on Dec. 20th and cannot lift anything heavier than 5 lbs for another week, including my two children. So our decorations are being taken down slowly and stacked in our formal living room.

My mom is here helping with the kids and she did most of Christmas dinner by herself, so I decided to do New Year’s. We had a boston butt marinated in a Southern Living recipe carribean marinade. We also had a rice and blackeyed pea dish (also a Southern Living recipe) which was delicious. Since I hate greens, I offered to make a spinach salad. I was outvoted by my mom, dad and husband…mom made turnip greens at her house and brought them with her. I made cornbread which was delish, but stuck to the skillet. When we made it for dressing it came out perfectly, but when we did not want to crumble it, it stuck…go figure.


January 2nd, 2013
4:36 pm

We ate black eyed peas, collards, rice, and bbq’d country style ribs. This is a tradition and my family has been doing it for as long as I can remember.

We also had the tradition of leaving your decorations up until after the first of the year. However, about two years ago I decided that I would take the decorations down before New Year’s Eve. After having a couple of crappy years I was wondering if maybe bringing something from the previous year into the new one (hence the Xmas tree) was actually causing bad luck versus creating good luck. So… I defied my family tradition (and caught slack for it) and am now the one who has all the decorations put away by the 28th but I am also the first to put them up which is always the last week of November.


January 2nd, 2013
4:52 pm

Because of our travels, our Christmas tree didn’t get up until December 23rd, so it’s staying up until this weekend — I’ll start taking it down Friday, I wanted to keep it up so my kids could enjoy it before they went dashing off to their jobs, school, etc. this weekend.

There was one year I caught the ‘flu the first week in January — we had a live tree, and for two weeks, it just sat there. Then, I would take a few ornaments off, get exhausted, and then have to come back to it — and it was a 9 ft. tree. Kids were small, and husband absolutely will not do the tree, he’s afraid he’ll mess up the ornaments. It took me another two weeks to finally get all the ornaments and lights off, and by that time, it was into February, and there was no place to get rid of the tree, and I was too embarrassed to leave it by the curb, and not even sure they’d take it, even if I did! My solution was to spend one evening with pruning shears and a small saw cutting the tree up and putting it into large garbage bags (this was before the paper bags became required for ‘”yard waste”.) It took about six large trash bags, but we finally got it chopped up and dragged to the curb.

I dislike black eyed peas, and absolutely abhor collard greens, so nope, neither one made an appearance on my table! In fact, I’ve been cooking so much over the last 10 days, I declared Tuesday my day out of the kitchen, (after ham, cheese and mushroom omelets for breakfast) so we went to Chuys and had a pleasant tex-mex dinner.

Besides, the 12 days of Christmas START on Christmas Day, and go through Epiphany. I think I’ll just enjoy it!


January 2nd, 2013
5:04 pm

DB…seriously no Brussels Sprouts nor Collard Greens for you? Do I have to disown you? HAHA!

@ K’s Mom…are you o.k? Did you plan to have a hysterectomy? What a busy time to have it!

Bubba Leroy

January 2nd, 2013
5:22 pm

For the last 40 years I know I haven’t missed a New Years meal of blackeyed peas, cornbread, mixed Greens and fried potatoes. Another thing is you never do laundry on New Years Day. Being born and always living in the south I’ve followed this Southern Tradition. Decorations come down the day after Christmas. Happy New Years Everyone. May it bring you wealth and good health!


January 2nd, 2013
5:59 pm

We had ham, black-eyed peas, biscuits, and green beans for New Year’s. No one in our house likes any kind of greens, collard or otherwise. My biological dad from Florida asked if we were going to have collards. We said no. No one likes them.

We cheated on the black-eyed peas as well. Funny thing was, we were waiting in line at Wal-Mart to check out, when my mom realized we forgot the black-eyed peas. She wanted me to run back and get some. There were three cans sitting on a shelf on an endcap right by our check-out lane, where someone apparently didn’t want them and lazily put them there. We usually put a dime in the batch. Whoever finds the dime will be lucky in their own way for that year.

After last New Year’s, and this one, I’ve made a new tradition. After we eat for New Year’s, I’ll run to the store with the intention of getting some kind of grocery item, and buy a couple of scratch-off lottery tickets while there. Last New Year’s when I did that, I won a total of $515. This time I won $25.

The right way to start the new year

January 2nd, 2013
6:01 pm

Cooked the collards all day and had them with black eyed peas for dinner with corn bread

For a new twist we had black eyed pea hummus with celery as an afternoon dinner teaser

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 2nd, 2013
6:17 pm

i like that black eyed peas hummus — how was it??

The right way to start the new year

January 2nd, 2013
6:23 pm

Very good have been trying to find a hummus that everyone liked – this one hit the bulls eye – no pun intended

[...] Newark Advocate -KCTV Kansas City -Los Angeles Timesall 35 news articles » Go to Source Posted in News [...]


January 2nd, 2013
7:07 pm

Yesterday. Collards, Blackeyed peas, hopping john, and a pigs foot; followed by Jack daniels and the UGA game.

Can’t get any better even if the cash still is to arrive.

Atlanta Academic

January 2nd, 2013
7:46 pm

Pennsylvania Dutch here, Amish background.

We always had pork and saurkraut for the first meal of the new year.

This is a tradition that we continue.

Saurkraut is fermented cabbage that will last through the winter. It does not include vinegar. The sour comes from the fermentation process.

Called my sons to wish them Happy New Year. They were making Hopping John. That is a Southern Dish made with black eye peas. However, I was happy to hear that they carried on our Amish heritage and included saurkraut with their first meal of the new year.

To all we wish a prosperous New Year.

K's Mom

January 2nd, 2013
7:49 pm

@MJG, it was planned and I am ok. I have had severe endometriosis forever and after 2 kids it was time. We decided to do it at Christmas so my husband and dad would be off from work for an extended period of time since I was in the hospital for 2 nights and my mom needed help with the kids and I cannot lift either one for another week. I was either going to have to have another minor surgery and do this at some point or do the major surgery now. I have been a little sad over the finality of it all, but I am completely relieved to be out of debilitating pain, which I lived with for about 12 years! I hope to never set foot in Northside Hospital again after 7 surgeries in less than 8 years!

Atlanta Natives

January 2nd, 2013
8:09 pm

We enjoy the entire traditional Christmas season of twelve days and leave the tree up until Epiphany on January 6. New Year’s Day is always celebrated with collards, for money, with plenty of vinegary pepper sauce on it and some corn bread for soaking up the pot likker; black eyed peas, for luck; smoked ham; and champagne!


January 2nd, 2013
8:25 pm

Never had blackeyed peas, collards, and hog jowls still my family moved “up north” to Alabama when I was 10. My dad was a picky Yankee and would have never eaten any of these things. It took me quite a number of years before I could cook dried beans without gagging. But, yes, I had peas dried from my garden this summer, and fresh collards from the winter garden.

My family’s take down routine was always on New Year’s Day growing up, but I take down the little I put up on the day after Christmas now, except for the stockings. They stay up till whenever I get ready to put them away. (They are very special, knitted mostly by my mother before her death, with our names and other decorations knitted in. The more-recent family members have very similiar stockings made by a lady in Gainesville.)


January 2nd, 2013
8:25 pm

@ K’s Mom….oh good…I was wondering if you were o.k. Glad you are well.


January 2nd, 2013
9:09 pm

Kielbasa and sourkraut here!


January 2nd, 2013
10:06 pm

We had black eyed peas for luck, and collard greens for money…everyone has to have at least a bite of each! That is always our tradition. We toast to the new year with some sparkling cider as well. The Asian noodle dish sounds good, too…I might add one next year along with our usual just for fun. We usually keep our tree up til Epiphany. The kids get a small gift and we eat king’s cake. I love the holidays and it is always so sad to have to take the decorations down. Happy New Year to all!

Atlanta Academic

January 2nd, 2013
10:29 pm

Aaah @Tiffany the lights never go out. The lights only change color. The King Cake, the Mardi Gras. Now the lights change to green, gold and purple and then to your imagination. For each season is a color of light and delight. Never let it end.

Amy in ATL

January 2nd, 2013
10:53 pm

Definitely! My whole family is from Georgia, and most of my husband’s family, so we dined on collard greens (although I prefer turnip greens but Publix didn’t have them), black eyed peas, homemade mac and cheese and fried okra. My favorite New Year’s dinner……..


January 3rd, 2013
12:01 pm

We had a low country New Year’s feast — black eyed peas with turnip greens and fresh grilled shrimp.


January 3rd, 2013
7:18 pm

I did cabbage….up North you are more likely to find cabbage. I hate greens anyway. Did have blackeyed peas, cornbread, and pork though.