Saturday, January 01, 2011

Just Be Here Now, Forget About the Past*

Happy 2011!

I said goodbye to 2010 in the company of Husband and Gabriel and Lana and two of my siblings and my mother and step-father. We laughed, we ate too much, we played board games, and at ten o'clock I tried to convince everyone to celebrate the New Year on Buenos Aires time, because I didn't think I was going to make it to midnight.

I did manage to stay up to midnight (just barely) and share kisses and glass of champagne and fell asleep with high hopes for a shiny new year with no mistakes in it yet.

2010 began in fear and worry and anxiety about J~, and quickly spiraled into devastation and grief.

Grief and sadness were the primary emotions of 2010 - and I cannot say I'm sad to say good-bye to it.

I'm making resolutions, despite having never had much success with them in the past. Want to know what they are?

In 2011 I'm going to:

1. drink more water
2. eat more fruits and vegetables
3. get back on the treadmill three times a week (right now I'm only doing once or twice)
4. be a more appreciative spouse
5. read more to my daughter
6. do only one thing at a time (this is a big thing I need to work on, particularly at work, where I tend to take out 12 files at once and then wonder why I feel overwhelmed - so, I need to finish one thing before transferring my attention to something else. I honestly think I will get more done this way.)

We had a lovely and lazy New Year's Day - I slept in until 10:00 AM, had a Bloody Mary with my neighbors, and had Ella's Family over for a cheese and chocolate fondue feast.

Oh, I also made some kick-ass black-eyed peas, if I do say so myself. I was walking through the grocery store yesterday afternoon, and I saw a sign that said, "Don't forget the black-eyed peas to start your New Year right!" and I thought, "Well, I didn't eat any black-eyed peas last New Year's, and that year sure sucked" so I bought a bag of dried black-eyed peas - to ward off bad luck, etc.

Then I spent some time trying to find a black-eyed pea recipe that would taste like the black-eyed peas of my childhood, made by my great-grandma, who made them with lard and bacon, and none of the recipes sounded right to me, even the ones that called for lard and/or bacon.

Lacking both lard and bacon and a decent recipe, I improvised my own recipe, and it goes like this:

Lawmommy's Wholly Non-specific Recipe for Really Awesome New Year's Day Black Eyed Peas

1. Soak a 1 lb bag of dried black eyed peas overnight (this is really an important step, and yes, it's annoying cause it requires a day of planning ahead)
2. Drain the black eyed peas the next morning and set them aside
3. Chop up a bunch of left-over Christmas ham (I had about a cup and half of left-over smoked ham)
4. Chop up a bunch of carrots, onions, celery and garlic
5. Saute the chopped onions, carrots, onions, garlic and ham, add some olive oil because the ham probably doesn't have enough fat to saute everything properly
6. Saute these things until the onion is translucent-ish
7. Add the peas to the pan, and saute them for a while with the vegetables and ham.
8. pour about four or five cups of chicken stock** over the peas and veggies and ham (enough to just cover everything.)
9. Bring to a boil for a few minutes
10. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer on the stove for a few hours (in our case, it took three hours before the pea started to smell "right" to me. I cannot describe what the "right" smell was exactly, but the peas started to smell like my great-grandmother's kitchen.)
11. Add salt to taste - enjoy. Yum.

I hope everyone had a safe and festive holiday. Hoping for better days in 2011.


* Colin Hay, Waiting for My Real Life to Begin
** We have been making quite a bit of chicken stock at our house lately, because about once a week I buy one of those Rotisserie Chickens from Kroger. After we eat the chicken (usually having it for two dinners - one as just a rotisserie chicken meal, and the next day in an Indian simmer sauce or casserole of some sort) - we boil the chicken carcass and make stock. This stock is very useful for all kinds of things


OpenID vanessagalore said...

Yeah. #6.

You mean a friggin' legume could make my life better?? Wow. Damn my mother and her disgusting lima beans, she shoulda been cooking black-eyed peas.

Sunday, January 02, 2011 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Happy New Year.

oddly enough I never heard the black eye pea thing. Then at the grocery store they have fresh ones, which I thought was even more weird. And that they were like 8 bucks a pack...weirder.

Anyway, the stock..put it in freezer bags and freeze it. It rocks and changes any food that calls for stock or milk or cream.

Sunday, January 02, 2011 5:53:00 PM  
Blogger Coley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sunday, January 02, 2011 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Coley said...

I don't cook but those sound uh....interesting. ;-) I hope 2011 is filled with happiness and health. You deserve it!!

(sorry - deleted my last comment for grammatical errors!)

Sunday, January 02, 2011 9:00:00 PM  
Blogger thecurryseven said...

We had beans on New Years... we always do. But for bizarre reasons we have pinto beans and ham and not black-eyed peas. My grandmother grew up Louisiana and when she moved to Arizona in the very early part of the last century she couldn't find a black-eyed pea to save her life, so she had to substitute. Consequently my father grew up with pinto beans and why I cook them on New Years.

That's probably way more information than you were interested in! I hope 2011 is a much, much better year for you.


Monday, January 03, 2011 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Lola Granola said...

I was so bummed to have forgotten my b,ack eyed peas! New Englancers don't go there, I thought. But then I was at a party, and there they were. So I will get my lucky year after all.

If you succeed in doing one thing at a time, will you teach me how?

Friday, January 21, 2011 10:30:00 PM  

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