Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day
Au Revoir, Adios, Sayonara and good riddance 2021! What a crap year. I’m suffering from so much pandemic fatigue and anxiety, I welcome 2022 with open arms. For a new beginning if nothing else. My gratitude journal has continuously said throughout the year, “I’m grateful for surviving this time” and it’s true. I’m also grateful for having a mother who always saw the brighter side of life. A trait she’s passed on to me. As a result, I’m looking forward to seeing what the new year brings. What challenges will there be to overcome? What triumphs will I achieve?
Every time I submit a blog, especially these food blogs, I’m grateful. My last blog, What is Kwanzaa anyway?, I talked of the culmination on January 1 of the feast of Kwanzaa. Black eyed peas are made and, as tradition goes, consuming them comes with a prosperous new year. I also learned that, in order to guarantee prosperity, 365 black eye peas needed to be consumed. A bit of a stretch for me, but, because I’d never made them before, nor been a huge fan, I thought I’d try my hand. Black eyed peas blackjack. These came out fantastic. I’m thrilled to pass them on to you, my reader.
Christmas dinner was at Deborah’s, Deborah’s Gumbo-My first attempt (Epic Fail). I asked her method for making black eye peas, she can make anything delectable. I also browsed YouTube, the rabbit hole I fall down almost daily, and took a compilation of everything I learned. I had a ham bone I had frozen from Thanksgiving and knew I wanted to use that. Thankfully, the results were much better than the gumbo. As a matter of fact, a fan was born and I intend to continue making them often. With the peas as the star, this dish is basically a blank canvas where you add what tastes good to you, cook them low and slow and enjoy. Rice or cornbread accompany nicely.
These videos, although arduous and time consuming, are so fun. Each food video I try to sneak in a line or two from something I appeared in many years ago. The opening scene in this one is of actor Joe Mantegna and I from an HBO movie called State of Emergency. Joe Mantegna is one of my favorite actors and people of all time and working with him and the rest of the cast was a career highlight. I’m fortunate to have had a few of them.
CB's Black Eyed Peas Recipe
- 1 Dutch Oven or large heavy bottomed saucepan
- 2 cups Dried Black Eyed Peas rinsed, soaked overnight
- 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 leftover Ham bone or Ham shank
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 jalapeno pepper optional
- 2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tsp slap yo mamma or favorite creole seasoning
- salt to taste
- Soak beans overnight or at least 8 hours. Rinse drain and set aside
- In a dutch oven or large saucepan, add extra virgin olive oil over low to medium low heat. Add onions, carrots and thyme. Stir one minute to begin cooking.
- Add Stock and Water. Add bay leaves, garlic, jalapeno and seasonings. Stir.
- Add ham, ham bone and drained Black eyed Peas. Cover. Bring to a boil and Reduce to a simmer for at least 3 hours.
- Optional. Remove about a cup of peas and smash with a fork or back of a spoon. Return to pot and stir to thicken. Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes until reduced and thickened to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over rice or with cornbread. Enjoy!
I’ll make no resolutions this year. The fact that I’m still above ground brings much gratitude especially in these extraordinary times. I’ll continue trying to not sweat the small stuff and be more judicious with my reactions. 10 Ways to Enhance Your Life, will be a blog I refer to often to remind me that things are achievable and perspective is key. And I will keep looking forward, not backward, to another year of good food, good friends and good family. I hope the same for you, my valued reader. Happy New Year! Be safe.
Any resolutions for the new year?