Phew! I have seriously been slacking on this blog. I’m sure you understand though. Hope everyone had as wonderful a time with their family, friends, and loved ones as I did!!
This was my first New Years Eve in Las Vegas. and I don’t have a singly picture to prove it. scrunches face in disapproval. Oh well. Next year….that will be my resolution – take more pictures.
The fireworks on the strip were quite incredible though. Really beautiful and the show lasted the perfect amount of time. While visitors to the wonderful Sin City were puking their brains out and blacking out [or just being schwasty and having fun] I was wrapped in a blanket with a glass of wine watching the show in just pure contentment.
But my favorite part of New Years is New Years Day meal!! Every year, for a long time, I have made a traditional new years meal of cornbread, greens, and black eyed peas!!
Every year I try out new different ways to make these and every year I bring someone new into the tradition.
The cornbread I cheated a bit…I used a gluten free mix for the cornbread…but it was still quite good, especially with some butter. Hey, everything doesn’t always have to be 100% homemade.
The Collard Greens I make pretty similarly every year – have to use the ham hocks. No, I don’t add extra ham or bacon and I dont cut anything off the hamhocks either but it adds wonderful flavor.
New Years Collard Greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 smoked ham hocks
5 cups water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 bunches of collards
1. Thoroughly clean each collard leaf, removing the tough stem and rib. Tear each leaf in half.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute until fragrant.
3. Add in the tomatoes, ham hocks. Pour in the water and apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add in the collards, tamping down with a wooden spoon to get all of the greens in the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Season wtih 2 teaspoons of kosher or sea salt (use 1 teaspoons table salt) and black pepper.
Black Eyed Peas Casserole [for prosperity]
1 1/2 cups black eyed peas, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups rice (I used wild rice)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
One 10-ounce can Ro-tel (tomatoes + green chilies)
3 cups fresh spinach, cut into strips
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
In a deep medium skillet, heat the olive oil at medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
|Rice…with a lot of steam|
The history of southerners serving black-eyed peas and collard greens began with Union soldiers raiding southern homes of all the most edible foods they could find. The Union soldiers took what they wanted from farms and homes in the south and left only the food that they considered undesirable, such as greens and fatback. Southerners learned to cook these undesirable foods, in order to survive, in a way that is now considered by southerners as good eatin’.
We usually eat black-eyed peas flavored with ham hock and collard greens for dinner on New Year’s Day for good luck and in remembrance of times of hardship and courage. The black-eyed peas represent coins (I don’t really see it….) and the collard greens represent dollar bills. It is said that if you eat these foods on New Year’s Day, you will have plenty of money that coming year.