When I was growing up, I was told that black-eyed peas were a symbol of money in the form of coins. A lot of people say that they are a symbol of good luck. Either way, they were always a part of the New Year's Day meal!
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
1 pound lean slab bacon or 1 pound meaty ham hocks
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 teaspoon hot sauce
4 cups water or broth
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Soak, rinse, drain dried black-eyed peas. Sort through and pick out any trash or pebbles. Place black-eyed peas in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and cover with water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse beans.
Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, bacon or ham hock, onion, and hot sauce. Add water or broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender.
Remove bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Stir in rice, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.