Happy New Years to everyone!
The New Year is always a time for reflection on the past year, and an opportunity to look forward to the promise of the upcoming year. Every New Year I take a look at my bucket list and add a few new items that I want to accomplish. My bucket list is continually changing as I cross some items off and add new ones.
Last year, I committed myself to reading the bible in its entirety. It had been on my bucket list for ages and I was admittedly intimidated by the task. Using an online program called YouVersion, I had a reading that was assigned to me each day. I would use either my computer or my iPhone to read my verses. It was a big commitment and I’m so glad that I was able to carry it through to the end.
As I look forward to this New Year, who knows what items I will tackle on my bucket list. Maybe this will be the year that I run a half marathon. Or perhaps I’ll go deep sea diving. It’s the feeling of optimism and hopefulness that I love about the month of January.
Now… onto things that are cooking related. In the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity in the New Year. Growing up, my dad always cooked black-eyed peas on New Year’s day. Since Matt and I were in Ann Arbor, I decided to make some for us to bring in the New Year. Aside from remembering to soak the beans overnight, this recipe is as easy as it gets!
Black Eyed Peas Recipe
Approximately 10 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 quart chicken stock
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
3 cups steamed white rice
Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.
Heather's Helpful Hints
Soaking beans allows the dried beans to absorb water, which begins to dissolve the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. Soak most beans in three times their volume of cold water for six hours before cooking.