Saturday, January 1, 2011
It's a Southern tradition to eat black eyed peas on New Year's day for good luck the rest of the year. Actually..... I don't know if it's a Southern tradition or a Northern tradition or just a tradition in general. My mom's from Chicago so we were kind of mixed up about which tradition came from where when growing up.......
But, in keeping with tradition, from where-ever..... we are having black eyed peas for supper tonight. (Actually, don't look too closely. These are not black eyed peas. I didn't have any black eyes in the pantry so we are having Navy beans. I didn't want to make a 12 mile trip, one way, to the store for a stinking pound of black eyed peas. So if you just squint your eyes and use your imagination, they look a little spotted.)
OK, this is how we have beans for supper:
Dump a bag or two of beans into the crock pot.
Add a couple of stalks of celery (I used some home grown that was dehydrated during the summer when the sun was high and never setting.......oh how I miss the sun. But I digress.....) and some chopped onions. (I usually go overboard with onions. I can't get enough of them. I get this small, ummm, peculiarity, from my dad. He loved onions with every meal in every form. Somehow I inherited this love from him..... along with the color of his eyes. Weird.)
And some type of pork. The brownish islands you see floating in this picture are actually smoked ham hocks that we got with the pig that we just put in the freezer. The hocks were smoked with the bacon and hams and we got several packages of them. But if you don't have a pig that you just put in your freezer, you can actually buy ham hocks at the store. Or you can use a bone from a ham. Or if you don't have a ham bone, you can use several pieces of bacon. Throw all into the crock pot and cover with water. Place the crock on low for the longest time allowed. My crock pot will rock for many hours, but I chose 10 hours on low.
So now your only job is to make sure the crock pot doesn't run out of water. Or the smell of burning beans will stay in your house and nose for an eternity.....or longer.
When the beans are soft when poked with a fork, they are done! Some times I take a potato masher and squish the whole pot a couple of times. This seems to make the beans creamier. This might be my imagination, however.
Speaking of smells---- remember, these are beans. And unless a person (or family) are used to eating beans, the small orbs have a tendency to produce an abundance of gaseous fumes that are an amazement to behold. Especially by a houseful of boys. And since it is a well-known fact that girls don't pass gas, my sweet daughter and I might have to take refuge in another space, at least until the air clears.
You have been warned.