First Meal

First Meal

First Meal


Sam Bass
Illustrator & Animator




1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
¼ lb of pork sausage
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or two 15oz cans, drained & rinsed)
1½ cups collard greens
½ tsp Creole seasoning
¼ tsp black pepper
Season to taste

For the cornbread:
½ cup butter melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1½ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs

About the Recipe

Growing up, it was tradition to have the first meal of the year be black eyed peas, collard greens, pork sausage, and cornbread. Each part of the dish is said to add positive vibes for you all year long. Black eyed peas for prosperity, collard greens for wealth, pork sausage for health, and cornbread for gold. A bit of each in every bite is the best way to ensure a great year.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat.
  • When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Slice the pork sausage into bite sized cylinders and add them and the garlic to the pan and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chicken stock, black-eyed peas, collards and all seasoning to the pot.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 45-60 minutes.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and position a rack in the middle.
  • Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square baking dish with butter and place the skillet/dish into the oven to heat up.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk and eggs. Mix together well to combine, then add in the slightly cooled melted butter. Mix again until ‘just’ combined (don’t over mix).
  • Carefully remove your hot pan or dish from the oven with oven mitts, and pour the batter into the hot skillet or dish.
  • Bake until the cornbread begins to brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 20-23 minutes).
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


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