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!!!

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.

 

 

Another Year Comes to a Close

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. it seems time passes faster and faster with each year. I can’t believe 2013 is already coming to an end and 2014 is on our doorstep.

There is a website I visit every year to both see my year in review and to create an inspiration for the upcoming year. Wordle is a fun way to create “words of art”, or, Word Clouds, using a blog or website that uses RSS feed or using your own text. I highly recommend having some fun with it this week. 🙂

The Menopause Express 2013 Year in Review

2013 MenopauseExpress Year in Review

Traditions and the New Year

Wow, 2013! A new day, a new year!

Last night was spent with great friends, and much fun was had. We had a good celebration, and at midnight we threw 2012 out the door. Oh, let me explain this tradition.

Each year a friend of mine makes an effigy of the year that’s going out. I honestly can’t remember when we started this tradition, but I think we’ve been doing it for about 5 years now. For example, When we rang in 2008, we threw an effigy of 2007 out the front door. If the year was particularly bad for some people, they took great joy in running outside and stomping the effigy into tiny bits. Regardless, it’s the symbolism of leaving things behind that I enjoy and going on with “the new”.

This year, M did an amazing job with the effigy. He wanted to keep it. He said, “Rather than throw it out the door, why don’t we just place it by the door so everyone can look at it?”

Our Effigy of 2012
Our Effigy of 2012

Being the creative type, I can understand why he wanted to keep this beautiful work of art. However, we have meaning and symbolism behind this tradition. Throwing the effigy out the door is so much more than just a physical action.

I told him if he wanted to keep it he’d have to go outside and catch it. 😉

Midnight struck. We all had a toast of champagne. People kissed their sweethearts. Then the moment occurred. We all gathered ’round to see 2012 tossed out the door. No one really cared to stomp up and down on this one. Really, I don’t think 2012 was a particularly bad year for this crowd. Or, perhaps bringing a little beauty brightened their spirits if it had been a bad year. M dashed outside in the rain and caught the effigy as it was tossed (and I can’t throw for schluken after I’ve been drinking, so that was amazing!). He placed it safely on the porch, looking lonely and forlorn in the window:

Don't let the door hit ya' on the way out!
Don’t let the door hit ya’ on the way out!

And now, as I post, the smell of black eyed peas wafts from my kitchen. I need to start on the cornbread soon. My, how I love traditions. Happy New Year, everyone!