New Year’s Day and beans.

I grew up with the dictum that you had to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s day for some reason (there actually is a reason, it just never made it into my skull) also I hated them, so I would eat 1 pea and run away.
Then I found a cheap store brand of canned black eyed peas that didn’t taste like playground sand and suddenly I put them in lots of things.
And when recently broke out my crock pot [black beans, beef stew] that had been languishing in a cabinet as it didn’t have room to work anywhere until I cleared off some things… and made some black beans that were utter heaven, I decided to try my hand at black eyed peas for New Year’s Day.

O. My. Gawd.
They were fantastic…and when I put a little brisket juice in there I just about wept.

We also put up the Stolmen in the kitchen (in between me eating huge serving spoonful’s of beans and Tex gnawing on the brisket like a great white shark on a dead whale); it looks rather nifty. (My arms don’t work very well anymore, but such trifles…)
I got one more stacking shelf on top of the one I have already, tucked it in to the area that the freezer doesn’t take up, and now I have a nifty set of shelves for my 400,000 pound cast iron enamelware pot that I… um… can’t currently lift, my other enamelware pan that is mocking me as well and my electric kettle that doesn’t get used too terribly much lately, the rice cooker (a.k.a. quinoa cooker) and some odds and ends.*

crockpot1I also broke down and spent $11 on a wee tiny crock pot (<— 1.5 qt ChefMate @ Target, that image isn’t exactly it, but it is close.) so that I can lift it, clean it quickly and store it in the shelves easily.

crockpot2I returned the 1.5 qt crockpot in favor of a 2.5 qt version. It isn’t as pretty, I did like the all white, but I needed that extra quart.

I’ll be doing little batches of beans here and there so this should make it lots easier. I’ll still have my monster crock (6qt) for parties and potlucks at work (I’ve been recently adopted by the Sales team who seem to like my cooking) and the occasional meal, but frankly, I think the size of it in my small kitchen kept me from using it more often.. not to mention that it doesn’t really fit in my sink to wash and it is stoneware, so it weighs a ton. After all that buzzing around, I’m too pooped to wash it immediately.
It gets soaked with some soap in it more often than not.

(Also, I can’t wait to test the little guy with the Kill-A-Watt to see how it performs. I bet I could run it easily on a solar panel.)

I need to put together the last two magazine storage boxes from Ikea that will house things like travel mugs, tea cozies and other infrequently used linens, my KitchenAid mixer attachments (juicer, meat grinder), party ware (cups and plastic ware that I still have after years) and a few other odds and ends that I don’t need to get to on more than a monthly basis. I put a clothes rail on the long section so that I can hang my veggie hanging basket, but otherwise, aside from still being cluttered from the rearrange, its almost done.
Yes, I will post a picture soon.

Black Eyed Peas
Mine were done in a 6 quart slow cooker, it filled about half the pot when all was said and done.

  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 1/3 pound bacon
  • 1/4 white onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp (?) minced garlic

1. Put the peas into a large pot covered with 2 inches of water over the tops of the peas.
2. Bring peas to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Turn off heat and let peas sit for 1 hour
4. Drain peas, remove unpretty and icky looking peas from the bowl.
5. Pour peas into slow cooker (its still off at this point)
6. In a pan, melt butter and saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent
7.enamelware In another pan (or the same one if big enough-I do all of this in my cast iron enamelware pot.) cook the bacon, then chop into 1 inch pieces.
8. Pour ALL of this onto the beans in the crockpot (bacon grease and all)
9. Add water to cover about 1 inch over top of beans, set to LOW and cook for 12 hours.
NOTE: I tend to start these around 8 pm the night before and then add a bit of water just before I go to bed to make certain they don’t cook off too much water and dry out.
10. In the morning, about an hour before you are ready to spoon them, up, taste the beans. They may need some salt. I usually add about a tbsp of coarse sea salt and give it a good stir. Adding salt at the table for individual tastes at this point usually is pretty easy to make it right.
BONUS: If you have a brisket cooking as well, add a spoonful or two of juice to each bowl of beans you spoon up…
Black Eyed Peas

I’m seriously pondering using the big pot again next weekend and making a soup of collard green’s, black eyed peas, brisket meat and naming it New Year’s soup.
Spicy cornbreads to accompany it, natch.

Next experiment might just be a gumbo.
My uncle makes them so I guess its in my genetic makeup to be able to cook them (as well as being genetically a smart-ass and having a predilection for puns).
[Mom, send me Unc Gary’s number please. Thankyouvermuch.]

*I’m not experiencing any strange neuralgia or weakening in any weird medical sense, but I go crazy cooking, cleaning and rearranging furniture after not doing it for a while then my poor little arms get sore. But really, those damn enamelware pots are fekkin’ heavy regardless.


One thought on “New Year’s Day and beans.

  1. I will send his number, but think I have his recipe for duck gumbo somewhere. I’ll look. Also, eating black eyed peas has to do with your finances for the new year. The more you eat, the more money that comes to you. So it seems you may have a watershed year this year! Good luck! And images, please, of your kitchen setup. mly

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