Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dishing Up Good Luck on New Year's Day

Wishing everyone a very Happy 2013!  

It’s Just That Good will start back up next week, I apologize for the absence, luckily, I have been working... yea! Actual paying PR, writing, and wine event gigs.  The downside to making money, it has consumed my time, and more importantly, my creative brain function. But trust me, I'm not complaining in any way! I’m sorry if you have been waiting for something new. By the way, I would love for some feedback on my recipes and blogs.

Being that it is New Year’s Day, I wanted to write a little something, since the old adage goes, “Whatever you do today, you will do all year long.” And I certainly want to continue writing and cooking for the blog.

So, here goes: I am in the process of preparing our traditional New Year’s Day feast, Pork Roast, Black-Eyed Peas, and Collard Greens. The greens have been cooking for a few hours now, and boy, does the house smell good! I sort of made up a recipe based on a few recipes I found while surfing the net.  

Photo shot with an Olympus Tough
My Collard Greens creation recipe:
2 C. Chicken Broth
2 T. Bacon Grease
¼ C. Apple Cider Vinegar
Big Bag o’ Collards
Four Bacon strips – par cooked and chopped
2 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Salt
1 t. Pepper

I began with cleaning the greens (the bag didn’t say pre-washed, even though you would think so right?), picked out all the big stems, and set aside. In a stockpot, I heated the chicken broth, added bacon grease, vinegar, and spices, and brought to a boil. Once the stock began to boil, added the greens and chopped up bacon.  Now, the lid on and the greens will cook down for three hours, until tender.

For our meat, I selected a Rib-End Pork Roast. I’ve been cooking this particular style of roast for a while now. The pork roasts are not very expensive, usually under $8 for a 2 ¾ lb. roast. It’s a perfect size for us, and the meats are simply delicious! I cover mine with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. That’s it! Well, I do douse the roast with a dry chardonnay before rubbing the dry ingredients on the meat. I roast the pork in a 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Once the temperature reaches 135°, I pull out and rest for about 20 minutes, until the core temperature is around 145°.

For the Black-eyed Peas, I bought pre-packaged fresh, and followed directions on the label: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil add peas and cook for ten minutes, but I added a couple of strips of bacon, and a 1 tsp. of salt. I also cooked for about 25 minutes, the ten recommended, I found still had a raw taste and texture. 

So, that’s it for my New Year’s Day feast. I tried to follow many of my mother and grandmother’s traditions for good and plentiful year!

In our family, we eat Pork is for abundance, Black-Eyed Peas for good luck, and Collard Greens for money. There are so many different food traditions around the world: cabbage cooked with a shiny penny in the bottom of the pot, sauerkraut, lentils, and so on. A former co-worker told me that I should never eat chicken on New Year’s Day because “chicken scratch the ground and scratch your luck away.” Recently, I read something backing up her suggestion, as well as, a reason why you’re not supposed to eat beef - "because cows stand in one place, ergo, you won’t move forward if you eat beef!" 

Okay, that’s it for me... I wish everyone a very prosperous and delicious 2013! 
SRQ Foodie

Follow up... Dinner was awesome! The collards were amazing! Usually I make spinach since I really didn’t know how to make collards, and am kicking myself for not learning to make them earlier. They were perfect! Tender and utterly mouthwatering. I highly recommend you try this recipe yourself. They were a lovely foil to savory pork and peas. A little sweet and a little savory rolled into one. YEA!  

Now, that's it... Wishing everyone a fabulous 2013! 

1 comment:

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