Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks

Split Pea Soup with Ham Hocks

Split pea soup has a slightly unfortunate place in the landscape of American popular culture. Especially, I think, for fans of classic horror. Just to mention it in the same paragraph as Linda Blair or Jason Miller is enough to evoke the scene in The Exorcist. It’s enough for us to recall — with a vivid, sickening churn of the stomach — that moment when Father Karras challenges the poor, possessed Regan.

If that’s true, Karras insists, if my mother really is in hell, and you’re really the Devil, you must know her maiden name. What is it? What is it?

He steps forward to drive home his point, and Blair’s response comes in the form of liquid. A green, gloppy, almost laughably gross bucketful, complete with a splattering sound effect.

Black Eyed Peas With Ham Hock

Black Eyed Peas with Ham Hock

We’re cutting it awfully close to the wire, here, for making a New Years themed blog post. But I wanted to share this one in particular before the calendar turned.

The thing with this recipe, and with black eyed peas in general, is that they’re good luck when eaten during that liminal space as we step from one year to the next. The thrust of the tradition is that they represent coins and prosperity. And that our eating them represents incoming cash.