Traditions: Black Eyed Peas, Kale & Ham

Have you heard of the Southern New Year’s Day tradition of black eyed peas and greens? Well, apparently it is a thing. Usually we were celebrating my sister’s birthday so there wasn’t much time for other random traditions. Now that we’re grown and siblings are moved far apart I feel a strong need to fill that gap in my celebrations calendar.

I guess you could say I want to make this soup for my sister…in a weird proxy celebratory way. However, this is a “normal” Southern thing. Don’t worry, I won’t be putting a dime in the pot. Check out About’s summary of the tradition, they even have some common recipes.

Some of my hopes for the new year are to try more new recipes. So what better way to start the year? I have wanted to try this recipe for years now and I’m excited to say that I have a few guinea pigs that are willing to eat anything. 

black-eyed-peas

Black-eyed Peas and Kale Soup

Big thanks to Jean on her Yikes Money Blog for sharing her recipe.
Her recipe inspired me, but as you will notice there are some variations between the two.

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb dried black eyed peas
  • 8 cups of beef broth (possibly another cup of liquid)
  • 1/2 TBSP of rosemary
  • 4 cups of kale, de-veined bite size pieces
  • 3 cups ham, cooked and cubed
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Green onions, diced, for topping

Directions

My plan is to cook the beans in a pot or crock pot before hand and then cook them with the rest of the ingredients later. So I suppose step on is cook the beans. Another part of me wants to dump everything into the crock pot at the same time, but I’m worried the rest of my veggies will get too tender.
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Dump all the rest of the ingredients into a crock pot and cook until veggies are tender.

Of course, if I start losing time, I will saute the onions and garlic first. Add carrots, tomatoes, celery, seasonings and broth and allow veggies to get tender. Add pre-soaked beans, cook some more. Add kale and ham last.

We’ll see how this all goes. I’m hoping to fix gingerbread cookies (for extra spice in 2014?) and cornbread to go with the soup. I am debating getting some cheap sparkling wine for some mimosas. I don’t have a cutesy reason….except maybe that mimosas are amazing.

What do you eat special for the new year?
Have you ever had Hopping John/black eyed pea soup?

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Day 240: Merry Christmas

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I was going to take a break from blogging these two days but I have come to a standstill in family visiting.

The issue, stockings. When we were kids, we woke up at the crack of dawn and opened stockings. We weren’t allowed to wake up anyone before 6AM. Mom and dad always hoped we would magically sleep past six.

Now that we’re all adults (I’m the youngest of five) it seems consensus to sleep in to a more human time. Last year, the vote won out for 10AM, which was a torturous wait.

This year we are waking and opening stockings at 8:30A. Much better except I was awake at 6:30.
Now you understand my dilemma.

I’m not necessarily all about the presents. I just want people to be awake because Christmas before light is so magical.

Also, when my brother wakes up he can tell me how to figure out their fancy coffee pot.

Just some of the cool things that happened this year:

-Learned to drive stick and bought a “new” car.
-Got out a job I hated
-Got to work with the hubster at NP
-Had first garden with hubster (drought)
-Made tons of crafts via pinterest
-Led tours with my hubster at work
-Couple of my sibs got new and better jobs
-Graduated college (late but whatever)
-Purchased presents for my first Angel Tree kid
-Canned tons of things from the garden! –Pasta sauce, pumpkin, pickles and more.

This morning I awoke 2 hours early and in that time I…
Took pictures of the Christmas tree and “stockings”, read some funny gift reddits, almost tripped over my mom who migrated to sleep under the tree, played all my draw something friends, scrolled through new instagram, scrolled through new tumblr, peed, and tried to wake up people in vain.

Oh yeah and I wrote a blog….20 more minutes.
[My brother’s alarm just went off. Sweet!]

MERRY CHRISTMAS, to my darling readers!