As a child, I never really understood why my parents and their friends would still wish each other a happy new year well into the year... I'm talking about giving happy new year greetings in March. It wasn't until I got a little older that my parents explained to me that in the Nigerian tradition the first time you see anybody during the year, it's appropriate to tell them happy new year because it's the first time you're seeing them that year. Hmmmm, it still doesn't make 100% sense to me buuuuut I will use it as my excuse to wish you a happy new year today; 5 days into the New Year.
How's that for a long rabbit trail? :)
American tradition dictates that black-eyed peas are to be eaten on the first of the year for good luck. For my family this means akara. Akara is a dish made by first soaking black-eyed peas in water and peeling off the skin from each. individual. pea. Yes, it takes as long as it sounds. The skinned beans are blended & spiced and then deep fried to produce yummy goodness.
Basically you start like this
And end up like this!
I'm not the hugest black-eyed pea fan (no pun intended), but I never turn down some freshly cooked Akara.
Here's to wishing everyone lots of luck in 2012!
If you're wanting a more detailed recipe for Akara check out this recipe here. It's not quite as good as my mom's but it will do ;)