Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year

A couple days late with that sentiment isn't so bad, is it? I've been busier than I hoped I'd be this past year and the amount of posts I had is evidence of that. I don't do resolutions, but I do promise to try and be a bit more vigilant in 2011.

I think I got caught up in wanting to write what I thought others wanted to read. That's all well and good because artists want to please their fans, but I also need to get back to why I started this in the first place and that was simply for me and my kids.

This coming year looks to be filled with positive changes for us and I'll try and keep those of you who are loyal readers in the loop, but it's all good things, not easy and some rather difficult, but all for the best in the end.

Here's a typical Southern recipe for the New Year, one that actually comes from my own upbringing. We aren't Southern, but the influence in the area of Indiana where my mother grew up was heavily Southern and many of her recipes reflect that.

You can chill out some with the bacon here, but it really is necessary for the right flavor. Try and get organic produce when you can and feel free to substitute canned black-eyed peas if you like.

Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

1/2 pound bacon - cut into small dice
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 small yellow onion - chopped
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
15 large collard leaves - rinsed, dried and chopped
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 bay leaf

1. Pick over beans and rinse. Cover with cold water and soak overnight.
2. Drain water from beans and place in a heavy pot. Cover with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 bay leaf and 1 Tablespoon salt (the salt will NOT make the beans tough, that's an old wives' tale). Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beans are cooked through. Remove bay leaf, drain well and set aside.
3. Heat the same large pot over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crisp and add onion and garlic. Cook just until onion turns translucent. Drain grease and add chopped greens. Stir well and add 1 cup water, vinegar and cayenne. Lid tightly and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes or until greens are tender.
4. Add drained beans and heat through before serving.

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