Black Eyed Peas, Vegetarian Style

Wow. It’s 2015. Happy belated New Year, everybody. It seems — somewhat unintentionally — that I have taken a hiatus from making posts here. I must have needed a break I guess. Which is odd because I certainly didn’t take a break from cooking. The end of 2015 saw a flurry of cooking for Chanukkah — soul-food Chanukkah dinner for 22 — and then a flurry of soups — squash and chicken all around — and then yet another flurry for New Year’s Eve.

But regardless: I’m back. And I’m ready to cook. And I’m ready to write. And though I don’t really — as a rule — make New Years resolutions, I’m back with a couple of New Years resolutions for the blog.

V-Day and the Snow

V-Day and the Snow

Yesterday, as the latest in Philadelphia’s series of serious winter storms began littering us with heavy, wet snow mixed in with pellets of ice and freezing rain — just about at the moment it became apparent that I wouldn’t be going outdoors, except perhaps with an oversized shovel — it occurred to me: I have on hand most of the ingredients belonging to several of my go-to V-Day culinary treats. But for none of those treats do I have all.

For chocolate mousse, for example, I am currently in possession of the eggs and the chocolate. But there is no cream to be found anywhere among my stores. For baked custard, I have saffron on hand, and (again) the eggs. But I’m all out of milk. For cake I lack frosting fixings, and for cookies chocolate chips. And I’d gladly whip up a mess of decadent French toast — a favorite of Sarah’s, and totally Valentine’s appropriate — except that in the absence of bread or dairy, what’s left might better be called an omelet.

Black Eyed Peas With Ham Hock

Black Eyed Peas with Ham Hock

We’re cutting it awfully close to the wire, here, for making a New Years themed blog post. But I wanted to share this one in particular before the calendar turned.

The thing with this recipe, and with black eyed peas in general, is that they’re good luck when eaten during that liminal space as we step from one year to the next. The thrust of the tradition is that they represent coins and prosperity. And that our eating them represents incoming cash.