Christy Annis, Peas For Prosperity

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Like America’s Oldest Teenager and amateur hour in Times Square, black-eyed peas are an essential part of the New Year’s experience. Atlanta entrepreneur Christy Annis is bringing black-eyed peas to the masses, and in doing so, she’s presenting the prettiest lil’ packages of peas you’ve ever seen. Before the pea-plug, let’s find out more about the pea-poo bah picks inside the perimeter…
Q. The Black Eyed Peas are coming to Atlanta, and they need someone to show them the town. Where are you taking them?

A. The thing I like most about Atlanta are Atlanta’s diverse neighborhoods. I also love food. So, our tour of Atlanta will mix the two, with a few sights thrown in here and there. I hope they’re wearing their fat pants, they’re gonna need them.

Phat Pants (not to be confused with fat pants)

We’ll start in Little 5 Points, take a swing through Criminal Records and then grab a beer and some lunch at The Porter. I love having this upscale beer bar smack dab in the middle of the craziness of L5P. I’m also addicted to their salt and vinegar popcorn. Just don’t inhale.

It’s Christmas and I love ice skating. Growing up in Florida I didn’t exactly have this option. The Peas and I will head to the St. Regis in Buckhead for a quick skate around the rink. Followed by some tasty adult Christmas cocktails. Yum.

Back on the road, we’ll swing through The Varsity, because you just gotta do The Varsity, and then head to Flip Burger Boutique for a Krispy Krème milkshake. This shake is just plain gluttony. Delicious.

Time to work off some of that food. I’ll take the Peas to some of Atlanta’s bustling art galleries including Beep Beep, Eyedrum, and Whitespace before heading to my absolute favorite wine bar, Krog Bar. Dinner at Rathbun Steak in Inman Park, followed by a night out dancing at some of my favorite spots including The Star Bar and P’cheen. Hungry again? Cap the night with chicken and waffles at Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles.

Quite a day in the ATL!

Q. If you’ve got one meal left in Atlanta, where are you going and what are you eating?

Rathbun Steak – Tuna Poke and Beef Tartar appetizer, Wedge Salad, Filet with Bearnaise Sauce, Lobster Tail, Twice Baked Potato, Sinfully Delicious Dessert, Port, Stretcher.

Q. Best Atlanta road trips?

A. My favorite Atlanta road trip is Savannah. I’ve only been once but it was love at first sight. I love being able to drive a few hours and hit the beach at Tybee Island. I also lived in New Orleans for 3 years. The art, architecture, food, and festive vibe of Savannah remind me of my treasured time in the Vieux Carre. I stayed at a boutique hotel called The Mansion on Forsyth Park which was amazing. That was my first trip to Savannah but definitely not my last.

Q. If you could wave a magic wand and give instant, mass publicity to a hidden Atlanta gem, what would it be?

A. This is a tough question! There are so many amazing off-the-beaten-path gems in Atlanta. I absolutely love this little café called Lotta Frutta in the Old Fourth Ward. They make these incredible fruit cups. I know you’re probably saying, fruit cups? What’s so amazing about fruit cups. Trust me, you will be hooked! They put cayenne pepper on some of these – the salty/sweet taste is just so refreshing. They also have the most amazing coffee with a vegan crème that is indescribable. When I first discovered it, I was there a few times a day. It’s that good!

Lotta Frutta: A Whole Lot of Fruit Cups, Sandwiches and Smoothies

Q. Peas For Prosperity are best served with…

A. Peas for Prosperity are best served with friends. Peas for Prosperity is about being positive, enjoying life, and helping others. 2009 has been a very difficult year – just about everyone has been affected in one way or another by the financial crisis. Like me, many people are living very different lives than a year ago. Through my journey, I’ve learned to accept change, to find opportunity in adverse times, and to improve my life my helping others.

This New Year’s, throw a Pea Party! Get together with friends, meet new friends, eat peas, celebrate the New Year, explore new opportunities, chase your dreams, discover ways to help others who are less fortunate. Anything is possible, you just have to put your mind to it.

BONUS QUESTION: WHAT ARE PEAS FOR PROSPERITY, AND WHY ARE THEY AWESOME?

Peas for Prosperity celebrates the Southern Tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for Good Luck and Prosperity in the coming year. My peas are not like the peas you buy in the grocery store, my peas are attractively packaged and make a great gift. My peas are awesome because I donate $1 per bag to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Bonus Answer: Do you know WHY you eat Black-eyed Peas on New Year’s Day? Everyone knows you have to eat peas on New Year’s Day but do you know Why?

In November 1864, General William T. Sherman marched from the captured City of Atlanta towards the Port of Savannah. Sherman ordered his troops to strip the land of all food, crops, and livestock and to destroy anything they couldn’t carry away. The troops followed their leaders’ orders. The surviving Southerners were left with nothing. EXCEPT, black-eyed peas. The northern troops left the black-eyed pea supply completely intact because they didn’t know black-eyed peas were consumed by people, they thought the peas were only consumed by cattle.

General William Sherman, shown here either channeling his inner Napoleon, or fondling a bag of lucky black-eyed peas.

The rest is history! After the Civil War, black-eyed peas were the only source of food in the south. The pea saved thousands from starvation. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day…

Peas For Prosperity Relevant Information

Big house, sweet pool, and just down the street from Christy’s beloved Lotta Frutta
Photo Credits: Lotta Frutta (Chowdown Atlanta), MC Hammer (MC Hammer)
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