Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our New Year's Tradition

My mother's people are from the South. They founded Walden's Ridge, Tennessee, which is part of the Cumberland Mountains. (Insert snickers here as well as your visions of John Boy and voices bidding goodnight as our lights go out). It's no surprise that I am a fan of the Waltons and that when I am a little spirited, the southern accent comes out. And yes, you did see pictures of my eldest son's homemade egg nog in mason jars on facebook. But I digress. We have a family tradition of eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year's Day. They have been served many ways over the years, even straight from the can if necessary. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with black-eyed peas and we will be having it tomorrow for supper.

Hoppin' John

1 1/2 cups dry black-eyed peas
4 cups water
1/2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 bay leaf
8 ounces ham hocks
salt and pepper

Bring peas and water to a boil in a large saucepan. Boil two minutes and remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients, return to heat, cover, and simmer for two hours, stirring frquently. Add more water if necessary. Remove ham hocks and bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice. Serves 4.
(Recipe courtesy of 365 Simple Pleasures collected by Susannah Seton)

I will be using diced, cooked ham instead of ham hocks, since I am having difficulty finding unsmoked ham hocks. If using cooked ham, add when 15 minutes are left.

I will be serving a side of spinach and a skillet of homemade cornbread as well. My sister is bringing sweet potato pie.

Here's to a new year filled with health and happiness! Happy New Year's to you and yours from all of us at Melia's Urban Farm!

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