Having gone to bed well before the stroke of the new year and with everyone in the house sleeping in for the first time in forever (I was first up at TEN…and I may or may not have had a mini freak that perhaps everyone had caught some strange virus because it was so darn odd), it was the first time in recent memory that I feel like I started a year super rested and ready to seize the day. Our Christmas decorations are all packed away, the house was neat as a pin and literally the only thing on my plate was to cook our thirteenth annual New Years feast! Sister and her Mister bring the littles over late in the afternoon and as I finish cooking, the guys watch football, cousins play and Sister and I get to catch up.
If you are familiar at all with so-Southern cooking, you’ll know we do it low and slow (which translates into cooking all.day.long.). I’ve refined my recipes over the years and feel like I finally have it perfect!! We eat blackberry jalapeno pork, hoppin john, greens, corn bread and pecan pie in a true southern feast.
The blackberry jalapeno pork recipe comes from my friend Lauren’s blog. It’s terribly easy and really yummy. I do remove the seeds from my jalapenos but leave everything else as is.
1 c celery chopped
2 sweet onions chopped
1 green pepper chopped
6 slices bacon, ham pieces or ham bone – cooked
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp respectively)
1 c uncooked rice
can of chicken broth plus enough water to have all the rice almost covered
container fresh black eyed peas (or two if you like a lot of peas like we do!)
Combine everything in a large pot. Bring to boil and then lower to simmer for about 40 mins or until rice is cooked and veggies are tender. You may need to add water if it cooks out before rice is done. I liberally salt and pepper it and Honey adds hot sauce.
Bacon Bourbon Greens
4 bacon slices
3 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 bottle ale beer
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
6 pounds fresh turnip greens, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add bacon, and cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Sauté onion in hot drippings 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in bacon, ale, and next 3 ingredients; cook 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced by one-fourth. Add collards, in batches, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until wilted. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 1 hour or to desired degree of doneness. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Pirates House Pecan Pie
9 inch pie crust — unbaked
3 eggs — beaten
1/2 cup dark Karo
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter — melted
2 cups pecans — chopped
Beat eggs well. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 375° on cookie sheet 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool and refrigerate.
It’s really a pretty meager meal when you think about it, but it’s a favorite in our fam. At the dawn of each new year, I feel so incredibly enlivened for the possibilities, opportunities and adventures ahead. But, at the same time, there is something immeasurably comforting about pairing that with the long standing family tradition of our little feast.
The happiest of new years to you and yours. I am SO beyond excited to see 2016 unfold!