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Happy New Year!

We are celebrating a day late with a southern family tradition, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread.

Eating collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread on New Year's Day is a longstanding southern tradition. All three dishes are said to symbolize money or prosperity for the New Year. Collard greens represent folded bills, black-eyed peas represent coins and cornbread represents gold.

Although the tradition is not Christian per se, I love the idea of acknowledging a new year in Christ and praying for God's blessings over it.

This is my absolute favorite recipe for collard greens. It is hearty and so easy to make!

Southern Collard Greens

12 slices of bacon, chopped

2 medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped

¾ pound smoked ham, chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 (32-oz.) containers chicken broth

3 (1-lb.) packages fresh collard greens, washed and trimmed

⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

¾ teaspoon pepper


Cook bacon over medium heat in a 10-qt. stockpot for 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion to stockpot, and sauté 8 minutes. Add garlic and ham, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth, collard greens, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 2 hours or until desired degree of tenderness.

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