Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year 2013



At long last, I have joined the blogging world. My goal for 2013 is to make a posting at least once a month.

For those of you who have known us for any length of time, you are probably well aware that we like to eat. In order to eat, we first have to cook something. Fortunately, for us, we do enjoy cooking and trying new recipes as well as enjoying our favorites. I'm certainly no cooking diva, but I thought that, at least for this year, my blog postings would revolve around some of our favorite recipes as they relate to different months and seasons of the year.

Although neither Wayne nor I have ties to the South, Southern cooking is among our favorites. We do jokingly mention that since he was born in southern California and I was born in southern Alaska that we can be considered honorary Southerners. Those who truly are from the South don't exactly buy it.

One tradition from the South is to serve black-eyed peas for New Year's Day to guarantee good luck in the new year. The black-eyed peas are prepared with onion and bacon (we prefer ham hocks) and served over rice. This dish is known as Hopping John. Greens, representing the color of money, and cornbread, representing gold, also are commonly served with Hopping John as symbols of prosperity for the new year.

Here is our recipe for Hopping John:

2 cups dried black-eyed peas
Ham hocks
One large chopped onion
Chopped garlic (as desired)
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes (as desired)
2 quarts of tomatoes
Cooked rice

Instructions:
  • Soak black-eyed peas overnight. Drain and rinse.
  • Add enough water to cover the peas, ham hocks, and onion. Add salt & pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until peas are tender. Remove ham hocks, cut off excess fat, remove bones, and return meat to the pot. Stir in tomatoes and heat through.
  • Serve over rice. A few drops of chipotle Tabasco sauce (added to individual servings) also make this particularly good.