Happy New Year! 2014 is going to be the year of clarity. My number one rule is that there is no more room for bull shit…ever! I tried to use a different word so as not to offend, but truly this is the year sans bullshit. As a few of my friends sat around a New Year’s Eve fire with Pank and me, we tossed our 2013 “must be forgotten” lists into the fire. It worked thankfully! I have forgotten what most of my list contained. Then there is the list of 2014 hopes and goals. We are to use this list to guide our path. I can just see us now sitting around the fire New Years Eve 2014, sharing cheer of our accomplishments and laughter over our mistakes.
Our little group is somewhat of a food chain. It’s book club meets dinner club. Our first book is Vibration Cooking- The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor. I first learned about Grosvenor at this fall’s Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium where she won the SFA 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. The food chain liked the idea of covering her first. Vertamae is such an inspiring and fun woman! This is going to be a ball!
That night I served four different kinds of soup. There was Corn Chowder, Vegetable Korma, African Stew and Black Eyed Peas with Greens with Sausage. I have eaten soup so many times this week, my fingers were all swole up. My ring finger looked like a sausage with a string around it from where my wedding band was growing smaller. Our neighbor, Ruthie, suggested I share the black eyed pea recipe. She says this soup has finally turned her on to the West African legume…
Black Eyed Peas and Greens with Sausage
6 cups blanched black eyed peas
4 cups chicken broth
up to 2 cups water
16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 large bunch turnip greens chopped (cooked down this will be about 3 cups)
2 slices smoked bacon chopped
3-4 links sliced kielbasa (I use Porter Road Butcher)
pinch of red pepper flake
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
heat large skillet on high. add olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, red pepper flake and a crack or two of black pepper. sauté onions and bacon until soft. add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt for about 1 minute. the greens can now be tossed a little at a time. it will seem there is too many for your pan. don’t worry as they cook down. add 1/2 cup chicken broth as needed to get the pot likker going. once the greens are cooked down, add balsamic vinegar and sugar. cover and simmer for 5 minutes. meanwhile, in a crock pot stir together peas, tomatoes 3.5 cups chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of black pepper. pour in greens with likker and all. gently fold in kielbasa. crock pot should be up to 3/4 way full. If not, add just a little water. cover and cook on high 3-4 hours, stir and then turn on low until time to serve.