Monday, December 27, 2010

Origin of Good Luck and Black-eyed Peas


Background Music: "Gone To The Country" by Racines.

When did 'good luck' join forces with 'black- eyed peas' to become an American New Year's tradition?

I did a little searching online and I found out that the custom pretty much began in Georgia around the 1730s by the first Sephardi Jews who arrived there and continue to live in the same region to this day.

The Jewish practice was apparently adopted by non-Jews around the time of the American Civil War. Boy did that tradition spread like wildfire – especially in the Southern United States.

Although the black-eyed peas recipes on our site are non-kosher (we like to add stuff like ham, salt pork, smoked bacon... the list goes on) I am sure if you look around you might be able to find a few of the original ones [recipes] which are kosher and give it try. Let me know if you like it, okay?

The "good luck" traditions of eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, are recorded in the Babylonian Talmud (compiled ~500 CE) [source: Wikipedia]

As you can see, the lowly little ol' black-eyed pea is not so lowly after all. It has been around for a long long time. Other variations of the bean (and ways of cooking them) have been a large part of many new year celebrations the world over.

I hope this little tidbit of information will make you a little smarter when someone asks you, “I wonder how black-eyed peas became associated with good luck as an American New Year's tradition?" Now you have answer... don't you?

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year! Ahheee!! Signature Icon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cajun Tradition - Making Boudain ( 3 Part Video )

Boudain is also spelled "boudin". The first part of the video series begins at the bottom of the play list. I hope you learn something. Enjoy!

Note: For a meatier boudain sausage reduce the cooked rice content. Signature Icon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gaspard's Spicy Homemade Cajun Sausage Recipe

One of the best reasons to make your own specialty sausages at home is because YOU know what is going into the mix. The large name brand sausages you buy at the supermarket are good, but you don't know what has been going into the product (everything from chemical preservatives to insects... and more).

Here is a simple way to make a great home sausage with savory spices which will put some zing into your next meal. This will surely become a favorite of mine to include in gumbos, stews, jambalaya and fricassees. You can stuff this sausage into hog casings or form them into patties.


  • 5 lbs. ground pork (with at least 20% fat content)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • 4 tsp. cracked fennel seeds
  • 4 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. picking salt
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 6 oz. cold beer
  • 2 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke

Mix the dry seasoning together and run through a food processor for about 1 minute, or long enough to crack the fennel seeds. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients, minced onions and liquid smoke with the beer and blend by hand, or in a blender, for a few seconds.

Slowly and evenly pour the liquid spice mixture over the ground pork. Mix by hand for 10 minutes or until all the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the ground meat. [Video Demonstration] Stuff into hog casings or form into breakfast patties. If you stuff them into the hog casings be certain to punch two or three small holes with a toothpick so they don't explode when cooking them in a microwave oven.

Also, perforating each sausage in a few places allows any fat that may be trapped inside the sausage to escape during cooking. Bon appetite! Ahheee!!

Tip Signature Icon

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Swamp Creatures - (Cajun Humor)


Background Music: "Boppin' The Rock" by Clifton Chenier on Bayou Blues

This little Cajun yarn should win a contest as one of the most frightening South Louisiana swamp stories of all times. It's called SWAMP CREATURES.

Boudreaux, an 80-year-old South Louisiana Cajun, goes to the doctor for his every year check-up.

The doctor is amazed at what good shape he is in and asks, "How do you stay in such great physical condition, Boudreaux?"

“I stay in the swamp and I hunt and fish every day", said the old Cajun.  "Dat's why I'm in such good shape. I'm up well before daylight and out hunting or fishing all day. I have a beer for breakfast and at lunch and wid my supper. And, I have a shot of hooch before bed time. And, I say my prayers every night. And all is well wid me."

Well", says the doctor, "I'm sure the prayers help, but there's got to be more to it. How old was your father when he died?"

"Who said Pop is dead?"

The doctor is amazed. "You mean you are 80 years old and your father is still alive? How old he is?"

"Pop be 100 next month," replied Boudreaux. "In fact, he hunted with me dis mornin', and den we went to a beer joint for a while and had a few beers and dat's why he's still alive. He is a tough Cajun man and he hunts and fishes everyday, too.”

"Well, the doctor says, that's great! But, I'm sure there's more to it than that. How about your father's father? How old was he when he died?"

"Who said my Paw Paw's dead?"

Stunned, the doctor asks, "You mean you are 80 years old, your father is 100 and your grandfather is still living? Incredible! How old he is?"

"We tink 'bout 118." says the old Cajun. He likes his beer, too, but he won't touch the hard stuff."

The doctor is getting frustrated at this point, "So, I guess your grandfather went hunting and fishing with you and your father this morning, too?"

"No, Paw Paw couldn't go dis time. He's gettin' married today."

At this point the doctor is close to losing it. "Getting married! Why would a 118-year-old man want to get married?"

Boudreaux looked down at the floor and mumbled "Who said he wanted to?"

Now THAT, my friends, I think you will agree … is most frightening! Signature Icon

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