Vineyard owners throw black-eyed pea cook-off for prosperity
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Having black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a long-standing ritual.
Over at the Torre di Pietra vineyard in Fredericksburg, owners Ken and Jenise Maxwell turn the tradition into a cook-off competition.
"It started off really small and it's getting bigger and bigger each year,” Jenise said. “This is our seventh annual black-eyed pea and cornbread cook-off."
Carey and Judy Haas have a once-a-year relationship with the legumes.
"They taste like dirt,” Carey said. “Ours didn't taste like dirt, but normally they do taste like dirt."
Eating black-eyed peas to start the year is part tradition and part superstition.
"You eat it on the first day of January and hopefully you've got a prosperous new year ahead of you," Judy said.
Since the weather has such an important role in what happens at the vineyard, the Maxwells hope some of the black-eyed peas will bring in some luck from Mother Nature.
"Last year we had a record yield in the vineyards in Texas and so I've got some really nice wines that are going to be coming out, some reds," Ken Maxwell said.
In addition to awarding $500 to the best black-eyed peas, the contest also raises money for local arts education.