New Year Traditions

I have been feeling pretty indigo recently (more on that later), but I knew I’d never forgive myself for not commemorating the New Year. And so, I’ll share with you our traditions.

We live near a casino/racetrack, and they (almost) always have a huge fireworks display for New Year’s Eve. We could see most of it from our porch, but we go get a parking spot where we can see the whole thing. Then we come home and toast with champagne or sparkling wine. I get a glass plus a glass minus a sip, since hubby doesn’t like it. Then we snuggle a bit and go to bed, because it’s fricking late.

I’m neither the night owl nor the party animal I once was.

New Year’s Day, of course, we have cabbage and black-eyed peas.

Cabbage for money, and it’s really good fried up in some bacon grease. I’ve always loved cabbage, although I only had it steamed or raw until I was twenty-five.

And black-eyed peas for luck, and I’ll share my recipe with you. When I was a kid, I hated black-eyed peas, and would only eat five at my mother’s insistence. Now, of course, I love them, especially cooked like this, over some rice.

The first step is to serve a ham for Christmas dinner. Okay, not essential, but if you had a ham, keep the bone.

You will need:
1 lb dry black-eyed peas
2-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1-2 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp flour

Ham bone or 1/2 lb pork tasso

If you’re serving early, start the morning before. If late, you can wait until the evening before.

Rinse and sort the peas and leave them in your pot with 6-8 cups of water to soak for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 if you got started that early.

20111231-114420.jpgThis is where I am right now. I’ll give you a finished meal pic tomorrow.

After the soaking, drain the peas. Cover them with 4 cups of stock and/or water, and put them over medium-low heat. Drop in ham bone or cubed tasso, if desired. Stir in Worchestershire, hot sauce, vinegar, pepper, and seasoning. Cover and simmer about two hours, or until tender. I’m making mine in my slow cooker tonight, so they’ll have about 12 hours on low.

Combine flour with 1/2 cup cold water, and stir in. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, another 15 minutes. If using a slow cooker, just replace the lid after stirring the flour in and give it another half an hour. And you’re done.

Good luck all year!

Do you have a special meal for New Year’s Day?