Ears to the Beans

Guido is big on the new year tradition of making a pot of beans. This year she used black-eyed peas, simmered with carrots, celery, onions, and a ham hock. She also made a 17-bean soup, which she served with collards and mustard greens flavored with pancetta. We polished off the batch this evening. It’s been kind of windy around the house.

But why black-eyes?

“I always liked black eyes,” she tells me. “Used to eat them a lot, growing up.”

You ate black guys growing up? (Note: my tinnitus has gotten a lot worse over the last year. Takes some getting used to.)

“All the time. Even when we were kids.”

You ate black guys when you were a kid?

“Sure. My mom gave ’em to me and my brother. We loved ’em.”

You and your brother ate the black guys your mom gave you?

“Yeah. Although I do them a lot different, now.”

You do your black guys a lot different from your mom?

“I like them a lot hotter and spicier than I used to. Back then, they were kind of bland.”

Now you like your black guys hot and spicy, I get it.

“Why are you asking me this? You liked ’em, too, didn’t you?

Happy New Year.

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7 Responses to Ears to the Beans

  1. Old Timer says:

    Beans beans good for the heart. Etc. The musical fruit. But at my age, I can’t trust farts anymore.

  2. Joe Balls says:

    I see one Black Eyed Pea I’d devour in a nanosecond.

  3. Borkon says:

    What’s the significance of beans at new years? Like pumping the gas at the starting line?

    • Barbara Ganouche says:

      It’s a Southern tradition — a symbol of hope and change (if you will) for the brand new year. Probably has to do with cleaning out the system, but I’m guessing. Seems like Ex-Lax might be just as effective, if not as tasty.

      • Kim Chee says:

        My Korean father married a woman from Georgia who once tried to make black eye peas Korean style to introduce him to southern tradition. It was variation of traditional bibimbap with black eyes, ginger, pepper flakes, and kale. He hated it. They separated soon after, although for other reasons. Maybe.

  4. Ted End says:

    Oh, NOW I get it! “Black eyes” sounds like “black guys.”

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