Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, y'all!
(A "y'all" seems appropriate when I'm sharing a southern recipe.)
I certainly hope you had a delightful, fun, and safe New Year's celebration.

I cannot think of a single year of my (creeping up on middle aged) life that I haven't had Hoppin' John for dinner on New Year's Day.  
Every single year.  
Without fail.

If you've got no idea what I'm talking about, let me share with you the southern tradition...
Many southerners have Hoppin' John on New Year's Day because it's thought to bring a prosperous/lucky new year.

Like Goulash, Hoppin' John comes in all sorts of varieties.
The basic parts are:
Bacon (or pork or sausage or ham of some kind)
Blackeyed peas

It's so simple, yet so delicious, that I've started making it throughout the year, not just on New Year's Day. 

Here's how my mom made it for us and how we continue to make it all these years later.

This recipe will make a big pot of Hoppin' John so feel free to half it if you want a smaller amount.

4 bags of boil-in-a-bag rice (I keep telling you all I do things the easy way!)
2 cans Blackeyed peas
1/2 a white onion, diced
6 hot links (you can use any kind of kielbasa or other meat, but I like the kick that a hotlink gives my version.)
Prepare your rice as directed.  
While the rice is cooking, dice up the hotlinks, and brown them in a pan with the diced onion.
Once the meat is browned and the onions are caramelized, add in the cans of Blackeyed peas.  I do not drain them because you need the moisture once you add in the rice. 
 Add the meat/bean mixture to your cooked rice and let it cook over medium heat for a few minutes to allow time for the flavors to meld.
 Seriously, that's it.

The other tradition in our household, and many in the south, is to have some sort of greens to bring you financial luck during the year ahead.  
I have always hated spinach.
In fact, when we were younger our parents let us take turns picking the vegetable to go with dinner.  It wasn't until we were adults that we admitted to each other that I picked peas because I knew Sis hated them and she picked spinach because she knew I hated it.  The difference in our approaches was that I actually liked peas.  She hated spinach too but stuck with it because she knew I hated it even more than she did!  Weren't we little brats?!

Anywho...I had my obligatory 2 bits of horrid spinach yesterday.
That crap better work.

Do you have any traditional New Year's recipes you have with your families?



  1. We had our Hoppin' John too. Even Grant ate his and said Num, Num, Nummmm, with nearly every bite. Of course he had plain hot dogs in his instead of the spicy hot links that my husband smoked.

    1. Oh...and it's true. I chose spinach for the simple fact that she hated it, not because I liked it. Still don't, but ate it anyway. Need all the help wtih the greens tuff I can get this year.

  2. I have never heard of this John stuff. Not had I heard that people eat peas on New Years. Slowly learning over her. Very slowly.


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