Friday, January 1, 2010


How does you family celebrate New Year Day

Our family New Year tradition brings the whole family together (5 generations) and sharing the first meal of the year with a traditional soul food dinner.
It is a long-standing tradition in African American families to indulge in a family or communal New Year's Day dinner featuring cabbage or greens, which symbolize greenbacks (paper money),black-eyed peas which symbolize coins and both giving good luck for the new year.
Try my recipe for Greens and Black-Eyed Peas


5 pounds of collards greens*
2 teaspoon of salt
1 chili pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/3 cup apple vinegar
½ cup margarine
*several large bunches or 2 bags of pre-cleaned collards green

Take the collard greens and separate the leaves and wash them two or three times, now rinse each leaf individually under cold running water. After you rinse the collard greens thoroughly, stack several leaves on top of each other, roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves into thin strips using a cutting board and large knife. Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are slicing through several leaves at once.
Next, add your collard greens to the pot. Since this is a lot of collards, you will need to add them until the pot is full. Then allow them to wilt as they cook - then add more. Stir every few minutes to distribute the smoked meat evenly. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart. Add your seasoning cover and cook for 2 hours thirty minutes on medium heat. Taste to confirm they are the tenderness you prefer, if a little bitter add the vinegar and margarine. Serve with your favorite meat dish such as chitterlings or eat the ham hocks or neck bones right along with the collards. My favorite way to cook collard greens is very simple.
I take 2 or 3 smoked ham hocks and put them in a large (6quart) pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and let them boil for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart. You should always cook pork very thoroughly and use proper food handling


1 pound black-eyed peas or 2 package of frozen
4 cups water
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 or 4 smoked necks bones*
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper (optional)
3 cups of cooked rice

Thoroughly pick and wash the black-eyes peas in strainer picking out small pebbles. Place peas in pot and add water covering the peas, place in refrigerator for 24 hours. (If frozen just place into pot of water) Place them on the top of the stove, in a large dutch over. Combine with salt, pepper, onion, water, and pork or other meat, you can add crushed red pepper if you like spicy food. Bring to rapid boil, cover and reduce heat simmer for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender.
Serves 4 to 6

*Clean smoked neck bones (there is a brain stem that runs down the neck of the pig), When the bones are chopped, the stern can be found in the channel-like opening, remove it.
Boil the bones until they are ½ the way tender using enough water to cover, through the boiling period maintain this level of water, drain and use the pot liquor replacing the water, add water to make 4 cups.

Serve on top the rice on your plate.

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