It’s the first day of the New Year. A lot rests on this first meal of the year. You’re probably expecting to feed a crowd. You want something healthy since you’ve been overeating and drinking for weeks. It needs to be comforting and warm because Philly is cold. It needs to contain black-eyed peas because your mom is from Arkansas and that’s a Southern tradition. Add that to the fact that you plan to be out in the cold watching the Mummer’s parade for most of the day and it’s clear it’s time to pull out the crockpot. This year I relied on my tried and true veggie chili with black-eyed peas for luck. The only catch is you do need to plan ahead. Put the beans in the crock pot generously covered with water before you head out to dinner on New Year’s Eve and you should be good to go. Finish prepping the chili in the morning on New Year’s Day and enjoy your day off while the crock pot does the work for you. Warm up with a decadent cornbread and a simple but cozy gingerbread for dessert.