Southern Tradition, Greek Recipe

Don't worry, this is not as confusing as you might imagine. It's a story about black-eyed peas and it all turns out well in the end.

I was born in Greece (okay, you know that already), and by way of a thirteen-year layover in Australia, I made my way to the United States of America. To the deep South. To South Carolina, specifically, and I've been here for 40 years. I even married a native South Carolinian and consider myself a proud Southerner, tomato-sandwich-eater and a big promoter of Duke's mayonnaise. 

My Aunt Polly (Greek aunt, not her Greek name) was the one who officially invited us to migrate to the U. S. and who supported us financially until we were properly employed. As an immigrant herself many years before our arrival, she developed a simple but ultra-delicious black-eyed pea soup as a way of engaging the comforting bean soups of her native Greece around the ingredients that she could source in the grocery store of her new home in a small South Carolina town in the United States. Since the first time she served this to me, I have been in love with black-eyed peas, so much so, that I developed a less soupy version to have as a side dish. Because I love black-eyed peas, and because I love my Southern-born husband, I follow his tradition and serve this dish as a new year’s day lunch or dinner along with collards and a slow-cooked Boston butt pork roast. In the South, they say that eating this meal brings good luck and money all year. So far, it’s worked quite well for us!

Add a bit of olive oil and fresh oregano, and that's all it takes.