Recipe: black eyed peas

1 bag of dry black eyed peas for 8 servings
1 cup onion, chopped, sweet variety is best
1/2 cup carrot, peeled, diced
1/2 cup celery, washed, diced
1 whole smoked ham hock
1-2 Tbsp bacon fat or Oil
Soak beans as directed on bag. Cool, clear water for 24 hours or quick soak method.
Heat oil or fat until a little smoke comes off the top. Add carrots and celery and cook until just beginning to brown. Add onions and continue cooking until all of the veggies are showing some brown color.
Add beans. DO NOT SALT...that comes later
Add the smoked ham hock
Cover beans with water by about an inch to an inch and a half. Cover tightly and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. Now is the time you adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Cook beans uncovered for 20 minutes more to allow the liquid to thicken. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove ham hock and pull meat from the bone. Finely chop as a garnish. Serve with collard greens (or your favorite greens) and a few dashes of pepper vinegar.
Enjoy and may you have a prosperous new year.