Funny that this thread is here! My house currently reeks of black eyed peas ( my roommate is a follower of this tradition ) and there is a huge pot of
greens, a plate of country ham, and a vat of the vile black eyed peas cooking.
I will be having a burger for dinner. I like greens, cornbread, and ham well enough - and will probably eat some of the greens with my meal as well.
But not a vile black eyed pea. Never
When my sister and I were kids, my parents divorced. We'd lived in an upscale neighborhood of Nashua, New Hampshire since before I can recall - and
the whole of my younger sisters life. After the divorce my mother, being the person she is, decided that she was too shamed to live in that
neighborhood ( my Dad was a notorious womanizer and I guess my mother felt judged by others ) - so she up and replanted us in a exceptionally low end
suburb of Miami, Florida. My mother had never worked, up to that point, so we landed in the Housing Authority - AKA, "the projects".
Going from a rich neighborhood in NH to the skids in south Florida is not
something I recommend for any kid. It was beyond culture shock.
Anyway, once in our new ghetto home ( Google "Liberty City riots" - that happened when we lived there and I was a kid. I was right in the middle of
it all ) - my mother apparently was rejected for Section 8, food stamps, and welfare. As an adult I am now fairly sure she lied about ever applying
for any of it. She is a vain and proud person, even today. I think she just created that cover story to avoid admitting that she made her kids suffer
for no reason other than vanity. That meant that we lived on her part time, minimum wage salary for awhile. Then, after that, on her full time,
minimum wage salary. My father, for a few years ( according to my mother at least ) refused to pay child support or alimony. I also doubt this. When I
grew up, I discovered that my mother is a compulsive gambler. So I think that's probably more to the point of our poverty and her insistence that Dad
All that to get to the black eyed peas point...
For at least 6 months to a year, during that period, we were so poor that all we had was black eyed peas and cornbread.
Two to three meals per
day, every single day. No deviation. No meat. Breakfast, black eyed peas and cornbread. Lunch ( during the week and school year ) whatever school
served ( We got free lunches not for being poor, but for being half Native American ). Dinner, black eyed peas and cornbread.
Every single day, without fail.
That period passed - as my mother gained a bit of experience and was able to find better jobs. We remained dirt poor, but not that
dirt poor. I
went to work at 14 years old, illegally, just to ensure that my younger sister would have actual food to eat and new clothes to wear. Even at that
age, I wanted to avoid her suffering the trauma I could already recognize in myself.
I failed though. My sister still remembers black eyed peas and cornbread. Even though she was only 5 or 6 at that time - she's scarred by it. Like
me, to this day, she will not touch a black eyed pea. She hates them as much as I do.
So, to Hell with luck. The way I figure it, in that one year, back in my childhood, I ate enough black eyed peas to cover 5 or 6 lifetimes worth of