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Deep Fried Black Eyed Peas

Luck, luck, luck! Some days just seem to come together right before your very eyes and you know that you’ve had very little to do with your good fortune. It feels as if the stars have aligned and some great power has made all things right for just that perfect moment in time. Could it be the black eyed peas you ate on New Years?

And then there are the other days, where the expression “When it rains it pours” comes to mind. Maybe we should blame those on the peas eaten during the rest of the year . . .

Although we run around in this world as if we are the rulers of the day – in control of everything –  most of us seem to have some sense that maybe we’re not. In addition to superstitious New Years traditions, we carry around a lucky rabbit’s foot or a lucky coin in our pocket, some read their horoscope and try to connect some meaning from their life to the words on that particular day, while others find answers inside fortune cookies.

I suppose God can work through just about anything – including black eyed pea traditions to effect His purposes . . . But I find prayer and ongoing “divine conversation” to be more in line with the traditional way of staying in touch with Him that I might better understand His purposes and direction for my life. Of course we make a bit of our own good fortune through the paths we choose, but we will encounter wondrous joys and terrible sorrows that were not of our design regardless of how diligently we have planned out our lives. (Or how many bowls of peas we have eaten!)

So our job is to trust these things, the good and the bad – to accept them as much a part of our day and our lives as the things we have planned for. In the New Year we should rejice in the lucky day because it is a surprisingly good gift, but we should also hold on to the “unlucky day” too, for even if we don’t see it – it is a part of our “blessings” as well.

Although I love fried foods, if you eat too many of these fried black-eyed peas your waist-line luck may change, but one bowl to bring in and celebrate a new year should be just fine! Enjoy and Happy New Year to of all you!

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed

1 onion, cut into large dice

2 bay leaves

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

canola oil for frying

2 teaspoons seafood seasoning

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

-Place the black-eyed peas into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight.

– Drain and rinse the peas. Pour in enough water to cover the peas by 3-inches, then stir in the onion, bay leaves, and jalapeno pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the peas are tender but not mushy, 40 to 50 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep the peas covered while cooking. Drain the peas in a colander set in the sink, and spread them onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels or dish towels to drain. Discard bay leaves, and refrigerate the peas until ready to fry.

-Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees

-Carefully pour about 1 1/2 cups of peas into the hot oil per batch, and fry until crisp, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the peas, drain on paper towels, and toss the hot peas in a bowl with seafood seasoning and kosher salt. Serve hot.

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