Hard to believe that another year has passed us by. It has been a wonderful, busy year full of many blessings and amazing experiences. My trip to Guatemala was by far the highlight of my year and the perfect way to start off the new year. I will be ringing in the 2012 at home with my blessings. New Years day is also my Mother-in-loves birthday, we usually head over to her house and enjoy a traditional New Years day meal of cabbage, black-eyed peas and pork roast!
Here is a wonderful recipe for Black-eyed peas from Frank Davis of New Orleans…
1 pound dried black eye peas
4-6 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound sautéed bacon, diced
1 cup diced yellow onions
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
2 teaspoons Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning
Sea salt and coarse-ground black pepper to taste, if needed
First, rinse the peas well under cold running water in a colander and set them aside momentarily to drain.
Next, take a 5-quart heavy aluminum Dutch oven (one that has a tight-fitting lid) and bring the chicken stock to a rapid boil. Then drop into the stock the chopped bacon.
Now bring the stock to a slow boil.
Then add and stir in the onions, celery, garlic, thyme, sweet basil, and bay leaves, cover the pot tightly, and over medium-low heat continue to cook until the vegetables soften, which should take about 15 minutes.
At this point, drop in the black eye peas and the bacon drippings and stir the pot well, making sure the mixture is uniformly blended.
Then bring the peas to a boil, but immediately reduce them to a simmer, cover the pot once again, and cook the peas until they become tender and full flavored (this should take about an hour or so on a very low fire).
Oh—be sure to stir the pot occasionally to keep the peas from sticking to the bottom.
Finally, just before you’re ready to eat, sprinkle in the vegetable seasoning and the salt and pepper and season the peas to taste.
Remember—you already have salt in the chicken stock, the minced bacon, and the bacon drippings, so you may not need to add much more if any.
Then, when your pork loin and your cabbage casserole are ready, serve the peas directly from the pot, piping hot, over a short pile of steamed rice and accompanied by a hearty chunk of hot buttered corn bread.
There couldn’t be a more “Naturally N’Awlins” way to start a brand new year!
A New Year’s Prayer
May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.