Sunday, October 4, 2009
Mmmmm... Something new to try
I really like black-eyed peas, and always look forward to New Year's Day when I prepare a giant pot of Hoppin' John, with lots of onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes and a fistful of bacon ends - enough to have for a half dozen dinners during the first couple of weeks of January, when the cold weather makes them taste sooooo good! Occasionally, during the summertime, I'll whip up a batch of black-eye salad, when the rest of the family gets tired of potato salad (me?... I NEVER get tired of potato salad...!) However, I've never prepared (or even seen) FRESH black-eyed peas before last Wednesday when a pound of them arrived in my veggie box from RiverDog Farm. I spent a very cool, and meditative, half hour this afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, shelling the peas, and enjoyed a tactile experience I hadn't had since childhood, when I often sat with my grandmother on her enormous front porch and shelled regular old peas for her famous pea soup, swimming with ham hocks, carrots and pearl onions. (Now, that's one recipe I sure wish I had these days, though I could probably concoct it if I gave it some thought.) I've just finished lining up my ingredients - fresh tomatoes from the garden, onions, peppers, and a ton of garlic from RiverDog, and a mess of bacon ends. I just fired up a pot of brown rice, and I'll start cooking the beans in an hour or so, after I've had a couple of Jack Daniels to put me in the mood. While the beans are cooking, I'm going to bake some cornbread in my cast-iron skillet, and whip up some Moroccan carrots and coleslaw. For dessert, I'll throw together a Cake Ina Cup, and I'll be ready for anything... but, most probably, CSI and bed.