Hopping John

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Most every new year I make this southern recipe for Blackeyed Peas. My fabulous sister-in-law Kara reminded me that I didn't make it last year, which may have been the reason Martin had a ruptured appendix and illius, but I am making it this year for better luck for all of us. It's super easy and delicious with southern cornbread. Growing up, I always had the Jiffy cornbread, I love it's sweetness. My mother-in-law can't stand this mix-style cornbread and has converted me to making homemade cornbread in my seasoned cast-iron skillet. She is right, the southern cornbread is way better than Jiffy. But when in a pinch, use the mix. My cornbread recipe is with my Potato Soup recipe. Now to the peas, I found this recipe in a cookbook from right here in Cross County. The Adams' are a really nice, southern family with fabulous cooks and recipes. I have changed this recipe over the years and I'll note my additions like I've done before. I love at the top of the recipe, Mrs. Adams' says, "A New Year's day tradition, and hopefully, the ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS!". We'll see them tomorrow at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Last year we saw the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Jackie's Commodores beat Boston College some how and then to South Beach Miami where mother's team lost to Florida in the BCS Bowl. Is it just me that complains that all these bowls are so dumb because college football should be played in a tournament fashion? It's the dumbest tradition that makes no sense except to finance sponsors and bowl committees wallets. Alrighty then...now to the peas...

New Year's Day Hopping John

1 lb. blackeyed peas (soak overnight in 6 c. water)
3 pints water (to soak overnight)
1/2 lb sliced salt pork or bacon (today I used the ham bone I froze from that Corky's smoked ham for Kara's Christmas Party, usually I use bacon, partially cooked before adding to peas)
2 t. Tabasco (didn't do this today, I'm sharing these peas with Anne Smith Quessenberry who's home after jaw cancer)
1-1/2 t. salt
2 T. bacon fat
2 medium onions, chopped (1 will do)
1 c. uncooked long grain rice (I like local Riceland, but had Zatarains on hand today)
2 c. boiling water
Things I add:
1-1/2 t. coarse black pepper
1-1/2 t. sage
1-1/2 t. garlic powder
2 T. diced japs

Cover peas with 3 pints (6 cups) water over night. (I drain here, but recipe doesn't say you have to) Add pork, Tabasco and salt and my seasonings. Cover and cook over med low heat for 30 minutes while cooking your onions in bacon fat until tender. Add to peas. Add rice and boiling water. Cook until rice is tender and water absorbed, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may have to add a little more water during cooking. Serve with cornbread. (When I first made this, I tried it in a crock pot which is unnecessary, but do allow about an hour of cooking before adding the rice so the peas are tender. I add diced japs and Tabasco to taste)

An easy and hearty New Year's Day meal. Happy New Year! That's Chloe on her bean bag with her dogs after having a bunkin party with her dad in the living room!

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