Black-Eyed Peas were initially grown in West Africa. The slave trade introduced these peas to the southern part of the US in the 17th century. According to Black southern folklore, black-eyed peas are served on new years day to garner good luck for the year. Along with good luck, black-eyed peas are loaded with potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, and iron. I eat black-eyed peas all year!
Soak 1 pound of peas for at least 2 hours. Pour peas into a colander, pick out anything and everything that does not look right, that could be rocks or dark peas. If you think it doesn’t belong, pick it out.
Get out a heavy pot, add 6 pieces of thick sliced bacon, chopped fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet, set it aside. Add 1/2 celery stalk, chopped, 3/4 cup chopped white onions, to the skillet saute until the onion is slightly browned. Add 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped. Add the peas to the pot, cover with water or chicken broth, add 1 1/2 teaspoons cajun seasoning salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, and 1 bay leaf. Turn pot to medium-high, cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 2 hours. 3-4 okra pots season with salt and pepper. Add the okra to the pot for the last 7-10 minutes of cooking. Check pot occasionally to ensure the water does not cook out. The peas are done when peas and okra are fork tender and creamy. Taste, adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve over steamed rice