Traditional Hopping John
Along the coast of the Southern US eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day is thought to bring a year filled with luck and prosperity. The beans symbolize coins or pennies. Sometimes a penny is added to the pot or can be left under the bowls of Hoppin' John. Greens such as Collards, chard or kale can be added and symbolize the color of money and are said to add to ones wealth in the new year. The day after New Year's Day the leftovers are called "Skippin' Jenny," and further demonstrates one's frugality. A common tradition in the south US is each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to ensure the New Year will be filled with Luck, Fortune and Romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of luck (or wealth) that will be collected over the next year.
sweet red bell peppers
canned, frozen or cooked
or any greens, optional
salt and black pepper
Dice bacon, brown in dutch oven with onion and pepeprs, until bacon is crisp and vegetables are soft.
Add peas and rice. then water.
Cover and simmer over very low heat about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
For extra luck add collard greens, kale, mustard greens, etc. for extra wealth (the green color symbolizes money).
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add a dash of hot sauce (to taste).
First published: 1996-01-27 last updated: 2015-03-20