Sunday, January 04, 2009

    Auld Lang Syne, Southern Style

    Apparently, according to Wikipedia, this year I made Skippin' Jenny instead of Hoppin' John, since I cooked the traditional Southern New Year's Day dish on January 2nd instead of the 1st. Incidentally, collard greens are still called collards no matter what day of the year you make 'em.

    Whether you call them Jenny or John, the combination of black-eyed peas, celery, onion and green pepper simmered together then served over white rice is healthy and delicious, and purported to bring good luck.

    For a change, I tried pre-seasoned, partially cooked turkey breasts for the protein in the Hoppin' John and also in the collards. The turkey was flavorful and tender, but next New Year's I'll return to using the traditional ham hock (that link takes you back two years to the first time I made this meal for Jon, just before the seed of possibility that we'd move to New Orleans was planted), which gives both dishes a smokier flavor.

    I chose pre-soaked black-eyed peas at the grocery, which I won't do again. Part of the joy of making Hoppin' John is simmering the dish for hours. The instructions for the peas said only to simmer for 40 minutes, and though I cooked them longer than that, they just didn't turn out the same as the usual bag of black-eyed peas you soak overnight.

    If Hoppin' John (or Jenny) is said to bring luck, and collards are supposed to bring money, then I'll start my very own superstition right here, and say that my accompanying cornbread muffins (from a mix), which I added canned creamed corn to, brought satisfaction.

    Indeed, Jon (no h) and I (went by Jenny in 2nd grade, but never again!), as well as my visiting sister-in-law, were each very satisfied by the meal. I know that part is fact and not superstition, because we all had second helpings, and soon all the muffins were gone.

    1 comment:

    Dana Friedman said...

    yummy! i hope you are very lucky and rich and satisfied this year. I do wish you lived in NYC so you could take me to the "best of" scene here.