Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Peace and Blackeyed Peas

The beginning of a new year. So many would say that this offers a clean slate, a fresh start, the first blank page of a 365 page book (saw that one on FB, as I'm sure you probably did, too). 

I'm not sure that there is a clean slate at the start of each "New Year." Baggage carries over. Grief, strife, pain, and unhappiness stain forward if you let them.  Just because the clock changes from one day to the next, one month to the next, one year to the next, your problems don't disappear. And neither does joy, but resolutions are rarely about keeping the good things, but getting rid of the bad!

Most years, I don't make resolutions; usually I feel like when I need to make a change, I need to go ahead and make it then. Last year, I wrote down and journaled my resolutions; I failed pretty miserably at them. This year, I'm going to keep it simple. No major treatise on what I want to change; just one word placed in the front of my mind and surrounding my heart: Peace. 

Peace in my speech.
Peace in my actions.
Peace in my workplace.
Peace in my home.
Peace in my relationships.
Peace in my family.
Peace in my marriage.
Peace in myself.
Peace with God.

So this first of January, this new day and new year, I hope that Peace finds you as well.

And because this was started primarily as a cooking blog, these are the Blackeyed Peas I'll be making for New Year's dinner.

Quick French Cassoulet

***This is the original recipe as I got it from my mother.  Tonight, I doubled it, and used regular beef broth for all the liquid instead of condensed and water. Also, although Mom never used to, I drained and rinsed the peas, and added an extra can of tomatoes to make up for the liquid lost from the draining.***

1 lb package pork sausage
4 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups water
1-10 ounce can condensed beef broth
1-16 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1 small bay leaf, crumbled
3/4 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
2-16 ounce cans black-eyed peas.

Brown sausage in Dutch oven as directed by package.  

While you're browning the sausage, drain your black eyed peas and cut the bacon up into pieces. 

Drain and discard the sausage fat. I like to put it in one of the empty pea cans.
Push sausage to side, add bacon and cook till crisp. 

Crispy Bacon!

Add onions and saute 2 minutes.  

Stir in remaining ingredients except black-eyed peas.  Heat to boiling.

Add peas.  Return to boil, cover and simmer 30-35 minutes until peas are tender.  Serve with French bread and butter or corn bread. Happy New Year!


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