Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Long-Awaited Blog Post

Well!  It has been a busy few weeks!  If you're reading this, thank you for sticking with me, and patiently waiting for my return to the blogosphere. 

Our Thanksgiving trip was fabulous!  Three of us made the whirlwind trip to NYC.  We saw the parade, picnicked in Central Park, took pictures in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller, watched the Radio City Spectacular, walked through Times Square, and across the Brooklyn Bridge.  In the words of our co-adventurer, "This was the most memorable Thanksgiving.  Ever."  Of course, that does not diminish our wonderful family memories in the least.  We truly missed them, and spent much of the day on our cell phones, anxious to hear the voices of the ones we love and miss! 

We returned to a different kind of whirlwind; much more urgent and much less fun.  Why we all wait until the last minute to produce thirty-five plus pages of papers, digests and reports for school is beyond me, especially when those documents comprise roughly half of our grade.  But that is what we did.  After the rush of papers, we spent our days preparing for exams.  In addition to studying, those few crunch weeks were spent eating (or feasting) on Thanksgiving leftovers, cleaning out the refrigerator, and being creative with pantry staples.  After taking four exams in three days, we were homeward bound.

Christmas with family in Tennessee

We spent a week with family in Tennessee, where we celebrated Christmas Day, and then drove south to Alabama for another week of reunion with family and friends, where we enjoyed a big New Year's Eve meal.  Being on the road and being away from my own kitchen has taken its toll; although I've helped out with a dish or two, I really haven't spent much time in the kitchen for the past month.  I've not been as faithful in taking pictures nor have I spent much time on the computer until now.  I'll spend the next couple of weeks down south, away from my kitchen and my beloved husband, who will be up north working diligently on his winter classes.  I'm sure that once things calm down, I'll find some good time in mom's kitchen and share some wonderful recipes with you, but for now, I wish you a belated Merry Christmas and a happy new year.  I hope that 2010 is a blessed year for all. 

New Year's with family at the farm in Alabama

Our New Year's Meal:  Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas with Rice, Roasted Vegetables and Smoked Pork Loin with Pear Chutney

*A special thank-you to my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, dad, husband, and friend who all took their precious time to proof-read my papers.
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Anonymous said...

Great blog update sweetheat. I miss you.
- Your Husband

Lauren said...

YAY! You are back in action. Great blog post.

Tina Dee Books said...

This plate looks delicious!

Gorgeous pics too. I left you a long comment on your chili post.

Tina Dee

TheCreativeMrsK said...

Sorry you and your hubby are apart, but rejoicing with you in time spent with your family. Hope to see you soon!

Anonymous said...

Do you have a recipe for black eyed peas? It looks good but I've never tried it.

pambala said...

Forgot to add my name. Pam!

Barefoot Belle said...

Hi Pam,
My mother is the genious behind the black eyed peas. They are so earthy and delicious. If you live where you can find fresh peas from a curb market, buy those. Otherwise, go with frozen or dried (dried peas will take more time). Canned peas come already seasoned; I prefer not to use them.

These instructions are from my mother, but originally from my great-grand mother. Everything is to taste. The peas cook for quite a while, so you can taste and add ingredients as you go.

Here are her instructions:
For Black Eyed Peas (lady peas, pink eyed peas, field peas): Wash and take out any stems and leaves. Put the peas in a pot and cover with water. Season with bouillon. Boil gently until done (it will take a couple of hours).

For Hoppin' John (which is what we had on New Years): Put the washed and sorted peas in a pot. Add some ham, chopped onion, a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with water. Boil gently for several hours (half a day or more), adding more water as necessary. The liquid will make what is called a "pot licker." To serve, place a mound of white rice on a plate and a generous "helpin" of peas and pot licker on top. Sprinkle curry powder on top of peas to taste.

Cate said...

I love collard greens with vinegar. Had lots when I was in Virginia a few years back. Can't get them here in the UK. The black eyed peas look good and we can get those here. Fortunately we have a lot of ethnic shops with pulses in London. I make beans a lot but mostly pinto and black beans. Also love cornbread, spoonbread and grits, all sampled in Va. I love tea too, cold and hot but without sugar!