Gentle Readers, right now, The Practical Cook should be cleaning. There are dishes to be washed, floors to be mopped, laundry to be done. However, that will have to wait. Tomorrow is going to show up regardless, and you’ll note there was no resolution at all regarding housecleaning. And I’m distracted by an idea I haven’t had the chance to work through just yet, a black-eyed pea croquette. Why do I have peas on the brain?
Like many a Southerner, I was wheeling a cart full of collards and black eyed peas around the grocery store today. For as long as I can remember, on New Year’s Day, I’ve eaten black eyed peas, collard greens (or greens of some ilk), and pork. Lots of people go with Hoppin’ John as a way to knock most of that out at once, I’ve done every possible combo, except fried.
Unfortunately, I won’t have the recipe for Deep-Fried Hoppin’ John perfected in time to share it before the new year this year. Thanks for your patience. While you wait, here is my menu:
Black-Eyed Peas, made from Bill Smith’s recipe in Seasoned in the South.
Collards for Haters, recipe courtesy of Jet magazine by way of a colleague. (I’ve adapted it some, the secret is smoked turkey wings. Will blog about it next week after I make it!)
Pork, sometimes ribs, sometimes pork chops, sometimes ham. This year it will be sausage.
Cornbread, because it’s cornbread.
For those not familiar with the traditions, each item stands for prosperity in the new year. I’m always getting them confused, but I think (or at least was raised to believe, yeah, I’m tossing this one back to The Practical Cook’s Mom) the peas symbolize money (like coins, but I’ve also heard luck for them), the collards luck (I’ve heard money for greens, too, like green), and the pork health. Cornbread is again just because I like to make and eat cornbread and it goes with everything. I really like the part where pork = health.
What are your culinary traditions around New Year’s? Send a picture, post a comment, Tweet! Look forward to hearing from you, because I feel certain several Gentle Readers have resolved to comment in 2o12.
What would you like to see covered in the blog in 2012? Email questions and requests to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)
Tomorrow, the first Weekly Menus of 2012!