I am starting the year by preparing a traditional New Year's meal: roasted pork loin, hoppin' john, collards, and corn bread. The tradition has it that the hoppin' john (black eyed peas & rice) brings luck, the collards bring money, and the pork brings health. I've been hearing people say that pork is for "progress," but considering the large amount of pork eaten in SC compared to anything that can be called progressive, and I have to say, no. Health is ironic enough.
I don't make the collards like most people around here do. I don't throw in a slab of fat back and cook it until it looks like the lizard the cat puked up. If that's how you like collards, go for it. I cook some bacon, then saute the chopped collards in the grease. I add nutmeg and ginger and the crumbled bacon. (I put some of the bacon in the hoppin' john, though.) When it's wilted, I add some water, put on a lid and cook it until it's ready. For the family members who like the puked up lizard thing, I put some in another pot and boil the heck out of it. Collards are tougher than spinach, so you do have to cook them longer. Just not too long.
Hoppin' John is black eyed peas and rice, which can be pretty bland. I spice that up too, with onions, cumin, red pepper, & chili powder. If I had celery and green peppers, I'd add them too. However, the trip to the Food Lion last night after work was enough for now.
I make pork loin roast about twice a year, and it's pretty good, if I do say so myself. (Someone has to.) I marinate it in Paul Newman's oil and vinegar dressing (whatever I like at the time.) I cook it until it is NOT pink but not dry. It's hard to hit the exact time on that. I know that some chefs are saying a little pink is OK, trichinosis is not a threat anymore, but I don't buy that. Pork is the other WHITE meat, not the pink meat that makes you sick.
Other than eating, we'll sit around and watch the Gamecocks get their butts kicked, I mean win a bowl game. We'll play Risk, and take over the world by force, or maybe World Monopoly and just buy the world with debit cards.
And then with luck, health, and money in our future, we'll face the new year.
Where have you been?
5 years ago