Pine Belt businesses serve New Years Day 'good luck' meals

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - New Years Day can be summed up by three things in the South; black eyed peas, cabbage, and corn bread.  Put them all together, and it is called Mississippi Caviar.

The tradition stated that if a person eats black eyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread on New Years Day, good luck and good fortune will come in the new year.

The recently opened GOlden Corral in Hattiesburg recognized this tradition, and hoped that by serving these foods, the business would reap the benefits the custom promised.

"Of course, we have already had the best of luck because it is a wonderful place to work and eat," said Golden Corral waitress Latashia Harris. "We are gonna do really good, there is gonna be good luck poppin' all around!"

On the other side of town, The End zone prepared their New Year's meals for the Pine Belt.

"Well, we have our normal menu, and the classic black eyed peas, cabbage, and cornbread," said End Zone cook Jonathan Kennedy. "We have fun with it, and of course everyone wants the good luck and good fortune."

Here is a recipe for a home made version of Mississippi Caviar:

Mississippi Caviar

1 can black-eye peas (15-ounce), drained

1 can black beans (15-ounce), drained

1 can whole kernel corn (15-ounce), drained

2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 8 cloves)

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 package (.7-ounce) dry Italian dressing mix (such as Good Seasons)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vinegar


Combine first 11 ingredients (peas through seasoning) in a large bowl. Stir well.

Combine dressing mix, oil and vinegar. Pour over pea mixture. Stir well. Chill at least 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

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