Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Serving Hoppin John on New Year's Day for hope, good luck * and prosperity is a long time southern tradition.
2 cups dried black eyed peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lbs ham hocks or smoked turkey wings
1 cup uncooked white long grain rice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
Dash of hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste (taste before adding salt)
1. Make sure black eyed peas are clean, put into large sieve and shake.
2. Soak peas overnight in enough cold water to completely cover them.
3. Put soaked liquid and peas into a large pot and add onions, ham hocks or turkey wings and bay leaf.
4. Cook covered over medium high heat for 45 minutes or until peas are tender.
5. Add rice and minced garlic clove. Stir and simmer covered until rice is cooked - about 1 hour or so.
6. When done, remove bay leaf, add a dash of hot sauce and gently stir. Remove meat from pot and put into large platter. You can remove meat from some of the ham hocks (turkey can be served as it is or cut into small pieces). To serve, surround ham hocks/turkey with with rice and peas. Serve hot with corn bread or biscuits and collard greens or string beans. Serves 4 to 6. Serve sweet iced tea. Use sugar syrup to sweeten tea. To make syrup, place one cup of sugar in one cup of water and boil.
*If the first person to step into your home on New Year's Day is a dark-haired man, you will have a year of good luck. See link at right for more folklore.
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