Friday, December 31, 2010

Black eyed peas!!! Happy New Year!!!!

Sorry I've been so negligent in writing.  The kids are out of school, and I promise, we have been eating, but I just haven't been writing much.  We've just been too busy!!!  I think when they get back in school and the holidays are over, I will get back to telling you about our attempts at eating healthy in the real-I-am-not-a-chef world!

It's the new year tomorrow, so you MUST have black eyed peas.  My family comes from the south (yes, Florida is the south and yes, my family actually has been native to Florida since about 1900 ..... thanks a lot Mom and Dad for moving to the Midwest!!  Not!!).  Anyway, in the south, black eyed peas are the New Years' meal.  I always find it funny when people in the north don't know this, but I know some of them must because of all the cans (yuck) of black eyed peas at the grocery store.

Obviously, I want you to buy a BAG of peas, not a can, LOL, but please leave one on the shelves for me.  These beans are easy to cook because they require no overnight soaking.  Traditionally, you need a hog jowl, and this is what I usually use, but I have a nice ham bone this year that I will use instead.  There is still ham left on this bone, so that will add some meat to our peas.  I'm excited.  So are the kids; they're already talking asking when we are having them.  If you can't use a hog jowl, I guess you can use bacon, but a hog jowl is the traditional way.

Rinse the beans, put them in a pot of water (as much as directed for the amount you're cooking), add the ham bone and some chopped onion (one or two onions) for flavor.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours (or as directed on the bag of beans).  You may also add garlic or other spices you like.  Don't add the salt until they're finished cooking.  I also like adding some Bragg's Liquid Aminos for flavor.

I will most likely cook the ham bone for several hours before I add the beans.  Bone broth is very nutritious, so I want to take advantage of having this ham bone.  Sometime I will have to tell you more about bone broth.

We sit around and eat these all day.  They have been eaten in the south for generations on New Year's Day as a symbol of good luck and prosperity.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  As my Biggie (my great-grandmother) would say - "Peas for peace, jowls for joy, and greens for wealth"

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