Monday, January 1, 2007

Black eyed peas

Black eyed peas with or without some ham, are a southern traditional dish in the USA on January first. One rolls in the new year at midnight with a sip of Champaign and mandatory, the first warm meal should be black eyed peas with cornbread. That is for luck and protection. Maybe the dish is basic enough, to rinse away the excesses of the night before.
Superstitions are part of one’s culture and often it involves food. Sometimes by acting in line with popular superstitions you make a statement. In certain parts of the world for instance one shouldn’t give objects like knives because ‘it cuts the friendship’. One way around this one is selling the knife for some loose change. Handkerchiefs are taboo as a gift, since they bring tears and the pin of a brooch will stick the receiver… thus those too need to be sold. Pearls should not be given unless a mother gives it to her daughter. One should never buy fire opals for oneself…. Black cats, spilling salt, walking under a ladder all foretell doom. There also exist sometimes rituals one can perform to ward of evil. In Italy ou could throw a bit of salt over your shoulder to undo the spilling of salt. Real and imagined threads surround us it seems, yet there is reason for optimism, there is hope. A large group of scientist has been asked "What are you optimistic about and why" for 2007. One answer was that superstition and religion would loose its importance, that people would become more scientific or rational… This might be a good thing and could indeed prevent a few wars. Yet when I walk with a friend and an obstacle comes between us, I’ll say or whisper, in the Gypsy way “bread and butter”, just to voice my intention that the friendship remains intact, using the superstition as a strange way to show I care. So I'll rename todays dish 'black eyed peace', after January the first is the international day of peace. Happy birthday to all the peace kids.

1 comment:

  1. Black Eyed Peas are also a popular multi-ethnic (hip-hop) band. Not too bad actually.