We had black eyed peas with bacon, turnips and greens, chicken tortilla soup, and corn bread. For appetizer there was Rotel cheese dip 'n chips.
|New Year's Eve Meal.|
I had never cooked black eyed peas. EVER! NEVER! So soaked them (thinking that that's how you do with lentils and beans, so it must be the same). I kept thinking how to cook them. Crock pot, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy, right? Read the package, yes you need to soak them. So after changing the water a couple of times of the super-soaked peas, and rinsing them just in case, they were put in the crock pot. I put in the blender an onion, 4 or 5 cloves of garlic and some parsley that I had in the fridge, pureed it and added it to the peas with enough water to cover them. Added salt and pepper, put the lid, turned it on.
Meanwhile, in another crock pot I put the chicken breasts, cut in big cubes. In the blender I pureed an onion, some chipotle peppers and some tomato sauce. Poured over the chicken and also added diced tomatoes and the rest of the can of the tomato sauce. I went overboard and used a big can of each, the big 28 oz. kind. Added a little bit of water, salt and pepper, put the lid, turned it on and went to sleep. So two crock pots, two dishes and a restful night. :)
Earlier on the 31st I browned some ground turkey, added Rotel, Velveeta and let it melt. There it is, ready to be put in the microwave when guests arrive. I also chopped some onion and a little bit of green bell pepper I had left and added them to the corn bread mix and then baked it. While the corn bread was baking, I cooked some bacon. Once it was ready I added it to the black eye peas (yeah, I didn't add it when the peas cooked so ours had crunchy bits).
Michael set the table and Derek and Danyel arrived. Danyel had taken care of cooking the turnips and the greens with bacon. I do not prepare too many southern dishes, so I let the experts take care of that.
So as we were all hungry, we jumped right ahead and dined. It was soooo gooood. They really liked the black eyes peas and I had to confess I'd never done them before. They said the peas were yummy and they were impressed. As always we had a great time eating, talking and being together.
After the meal we went outside. Michael had prepared the pit with the pine tree logs from some branches we cut off one of the trees a while back. He lit it and the wood caught right away and had some amazing flames and warmth. We stayed outside till the arrival of 2014!
|Our little bonfire!|
From Wikipedia: Lucky New Year food... ...The traditional meal also includes collard, turnip, or mustard greens, and ham. The [black eyed] peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion. Cornbread also often accompanies this meal.