New Years Black Eyed Peas

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday season and had fun celebrating last night. 🙂

This morning started off with the traditional cooking of the black eyed peas. For those not familiar, black eyed peas are eaten on New Years Day for good luck. The swelling of the beans represent prosperity. They are typically cooked with a pork product, such as ham hock or bacon, and eaten with greens or cabbage. The greens (or cabbage) represent money, and pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, not backwards. So, not only does this southern dish taste good, it’s full of symbolism.

I cook these every year, but I do believe I outdid myself this year. I made the best black eyed peas I’ve ever made, in the shortest amount of time!! I didn’t have to pre-soak anything, nor did I have to start the pot cooking last night. The whole thing took about 40 minutes (only because I made such a large batch). OMG, they taste like they’ve been cooking all day!! People, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, get one. It will make your lives soooo much easier!!

My recipe today:

  • 3 pounds black eyed peas (we have company coming over)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 handful sea salt
  • 1 handful (but slightly less than the salt) black pepper
  • Tony Cachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (I just shook that until it felt right)
  • 1/2 handful Tajin seasoning
  • 2 ham hocks
  • Chicken Broth until it’s all covered

Put everything in the Instant Pot, no specific order except add the broth last. Select the Soup setting on your Instant Pot. Make sure your pressure cooking level is set to High. Adjust your timer to 40 minutes. MAKE SURE your top knob is turned to the “sealing” position, and walk away. In 40 minutes, you’ll have the best black eyed peas you’ve ever tasted.

Oh, and heavens! Don’t forget your cornbread with this dish!  It’s a must! Bon appetite! And Happy New Year!!!

Happy Holidays

I know I said I’d post more frequently, but I’ve had reasons for staying away this time. Regardless, the year is almost out, the holidays are upon us, and I did want to make one more post before the new year.

Where did the year go? Remember when we were kids and time used to just drag on and on forever? Except for summer, of course – that was never long enough. But the older we got, the faster time flew by. Gods above, if it keeps going this fast, by the time I’m “old”, time will have exceeded the speed of light. Who knows? Maybe it will start going backwards!

2018 was a year of growth and change for me. I’ve been challenged with health issues this year, but that’s getting better. Growth has come from learning how to better cope with change in my life, and learning how to better communicate when it comes to my feelings, needs and desires.

I’ve also learned to step away and think before acting; which leads me to my next subject…

After I moved from Dallas this year, I wanted to post more frequently. But it seems my ex-husband has found my blog. He’s commented on my posts – twice. Once, asking me if I wanted my old birth certificate (from before I changed my last name). Now, I could have sworn I still had that in an archived file box; so I don’t know if he’s fishing, trying to find out where I live now, or if he’s serious. In any case, this used to be a blog where I’d talk about what was going on with my kid (who’s not a kid anymore), and my family. Now? Fuck…  I could block him, but that just blocks comments.

Or, I could just let it go.

Yes, it was a horrible thing he put us through back in 2006, but it was over 10 years ago. He can’t hurt my son or me. He’ll never threaten me with a loaded assault rifle again. I’ll never have to deal with cleaning tear gas out of my clothes and everything I own. Ever. Again.

So at the end of this year, this is me trying to let go of a grudge that some still say I have every right to hold onto. I’ve held this grudge close and dear for a long time. It’s helped me get through the years, and it’s helped me heal. It helped me build the walls I needed to hide behind for a while, before I could come out again and start over. But a grudge is nothing more than negative emotions after a while. You relive and remember the painful event over and over, and lick your wounds. At some point you have to let the negativity go before it eats you up.

Letting go doesn’t mean that what he did was “ok”, nor does it mean that all is forgiven and I’m willing to communicate with him. It just means I have better things to spend my energy on.

My message for the holidays is that no matter how old we are, we never stop learning and we never stop growing. As much bullshit that’s gone on in this world this year, and the health issues I’ve dealt with, I still have to say I’m happy with the way this year has ended for me. I have a loving husband and a great son, and a happy family. Family is so important, whether blood or chosen.

Happy Holidays, one and all. Be safe, be happy, and be loved.

A New Year, A New Beginning

Today is the first day of 2018. Wow. We made it through another year.

We always seem to say things like, “To hell with [the previous year], it was so bad! On to the next one! Let’s just get this done already. This new year will be so much better.”

I don’t say that anymore, because inevitably, the next year is even worse. I feel as though I presented the Universe with a challenge, and the Universe replied by saying, “Oh, really? Watch this.”

2017 truly sucked for a lot of people I know. It wasn’t the best year for me, either. We’re all glad to see it done. But as for me? I’m just happy I got through it. I survived every piece of crap 2017 had to offer, and every painful moment, and I’m stronger for it. We may be a little shaken, but we got through. Hey, that says something.

Fuck you, 2017. You thought you could take me down? HA! I’m tough. I’m a kid from East Dallas.

Happy New Year, everyone.

— Peace.

 

 

Happy Holidays (ugh…)

It’s Christmas day, and the first day of Hanukkah. I wish you all a very happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate. Me? I’ve given it the effort this season, but I just haven’t felt it. I really tried. But with every exuberant “Merry Christmas” I heard from complete strangers as I went about my day, it only served to remind me of my lack of holiday spirit and how very-not-merry I was.

grinch

You could say I sound like a grinch. Perhaps I do, but I can’t help it. This entire year has completely sucked, not just for me but for so many people I know. That, combined with political bullshit I refuse to go into because we’ve all been dealing with it on one side of the fence or another, but suffice to say, the current political climate in society is a ticking time bomb, IMHO.

You can only be so torn up and worn down before you can’t celebrate… By the time 12/24 got here and the tree still wasn’t up, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. We’re going to celebrate the new year, instead.

And, as I type my entry, I’m still getting greetings of “Merry Christmas”. :: sigh ::

Is just me? Or did anyone else notice there were a metric ton of “Merry Christmas” wishes this year. I especially noticed it, not because of my lack of holiday spirit, but because Hanukkah started at the same time. It seems like this year, more than any other year, we should acknowledge other beliefs. But, really, I’m not even Jewish. It shouldn’t matter to me one way or another, right?

My best friend just called me to wish me a Merry Christmas (again, while I’m writing my blog post). I laughed and replied, “Hail Satan.” At least she had a good laugh, too. 🙂