Saturday, December 31, 2011

Are You Ready for a New Year?

I can’t believe it’s the last day of 2011 – and it’s almost my one-year “blogiversary.” I thought it would be fitting on the last day of the year to reflect back on what started it all for me – beans and greens. I had toyed for a while with the idea of a blog and had several starts and stops, but while planning my traditional Southern New Year’s meal, I realized that I didn’t really know where this tradition came from. The first few posts of the blog provide a little background and I hope you’ll look back at this post, “I Dream of Peas,” if you are curious.

This year I am not cooking. I’m going to let my friend Niki handle that --and I can’t wait! However, I love looking at recipes and exploring the history of dishes, so I’ve compiled a list of interesting recipes for you to peruse if you are cooking. And you should be or you’ll end up in the “poor house,” as my Granny would say. Look at me, I’ve been eating lucky peas and greens on New Year’s Day for as long as I can remember, and I’m filthy, stinking rich! (JUST KIDDING! If I were rich, I would probably be on a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean right now! J)

Thank you for following my cooking, eating and reminiscing adventures this past year and I hope to post more often in 2012. There is so much to eat and so many stories to tell. Coming up next, shrimp and grits – I promise!!

Last year's lucky meal.

 A Collection of Recipes to Start Your Year off Right


Athens chef and Top Chef judge (and my chef crush) Hugh Acheson’s collards with grits. I’ve got to try this!

Atlanta chef and Southern culinary god Linton Hopkins’ recipe for skillet greens (could be collards, kale or what have you).

Emeril Lagasse’s version. Contains bacon, so you can’t really go wrong!

A nice looking vegetarian option. Yes, you can make tasty collard greens without bacon or salted pork!

This Mississippi blogger, Deep South Dish, stews the collard greens with ham hocks.

Savannah Peanut Collard Greens from a barbecue joint in Savannah. Peanuts and collard greens? Sounds intriguing!

Black Eyed Peas (straight up):

Love her or hate her, you may just have to try Paula's spicy black eyed peas. They are highly rated!

A blogger takes on famous Louisiana chef John Besh’s recipe with bacon fat and ham hocks.

A vegetarian option with caramelized leeks.  I love leeks!

Hoppin’ John:
For some, this Lowcountry black-eyed peas and rice dish is a “must-eat” on New Year’s Day. I don’t recall having this growing up – maybe it’s a South Carolina thing. However, it is truly delicious and a great way to cook your dried peas.

An Atlanta blogger, Bunky Cook’s, fascinating interview with Charleston chef Sean Brock and his quest to bring back heritage ingredients to Southern cooking. To Brock, authentic Hoppin’ John is made with Carolina Gold rice and Sea Island Red Peas.  You can find the recipe here. And you can order these heirloom ingredients from Anson Mills (they have excellent grits, too).

Jessica B. Harris, author of the The Welcome Table, High on the Hog and other books that explore the African connection in Southern cooking shares a simple Hoppin’ John recipe. Intro includes a little history on the origin of the dish.

Hoppin’ John recipe from the Hominy Grill in Charleston. Chef Robert Stehling knows his stuff, so this one’s got to be good.

A Little of Everything:

Southern Living Magazine's recipes for beans, greens, cornbread and other essentials.

Happy New Year, everyone! Have a safe night of celebrating this evening and don’t forget to soak your peas before you hit the sack! See you in 2012 …


  1. Thank you so much for the mention. I will be making my Hoppin' John shortly to have tomorrow for New Year's Day. Happy New Year and Happy Blogaversary to you! Gwen

  2. I am loving this new year roundup! So many delicious recipes! :)

  3. Thanks, y'all! I can't wait to try some of these recipes myself!

  4. Beans & greens are some of my favorite foods! :)

    Happy New Year,