Hoppin` John

Hoppin` John

Soak 1 bag (16 oz) of dried black-eyed peas in water overnight.  It also works to pour hot water on them, and use within a few hours). Wash beans after soaking.

Sauté 1 ½ cups of chopped onions, tablespoon of garlic in olive oil.  You can also use 1 cup of chopped green pepper and a cup of chapped celery if desired. (I do), and sauté them as well.

Make spice mixture of:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp course black pepper
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. thyme
Small amounts of basil, marjoram and mace 

Cook beans and a ham hock in 7 cups of water until peas are tender. Add sautéed vegetables and spice mixture and simmer.  Water should be close to being absorbed, but they should not be dry.

Take out ham hock and cut all edible meat from the bone.  (Dogs love the ham bone that is leftJ) Chop and put in the mix.  Stir and adjust spices and water consistency. 

Hoppin` John is served with collard greens (pieces of ham hock can flavor the collard greens). Never use sugar on collards. Toss a huge chopped Vidalia onion into it with salt and pepper and pieces of the ham hock. 

Make rice. Serve Hopping John over rice with collards on the side.  This is also traditionally served with cornbread.

Greens=dollars. Black-eyed peas=coins. Cornbread=gold. Pork=moving forward.
Happy New YearJ


Potato Leek Soup

The classic version of this is, of course, Julia Child’s recipe which is pureed, has heavy cream and crème fraiche.  I am not a big fan of pureed soups, for the most part, although I will eat them.  The recipe to follow has half and half and is not pureed.  It is definitely a variation, but is easy, nourishing, and can be served as a meal, with a salad and bread.


I prep each item ahead of time, and put them each in small bowls, and add.  This suits me, and I can concentrate and not overcook some items.


4 cups of small cubes of Yukon gold potatoes peeled and prepped.

3 cups of chopped leeks. (Most recipes call for a “bunch”, but I picked mine)

½ stick butter

1 tsp. each of marjoram, thyme, salt and white pepper

1 large stalk of celery

4 cups broth (if you want vegetarian, use a vegetable broth, or chicken or whatever broth you like)

1 ½ cups of half and half

¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley


In a good sized pot, melt the butter. Sauté the leeks for a few minutes until they slightly wilt.  Add the potatoes and coat in the mixture for a few minutes. Then add the celery and sauté.  Add the herbs and spices and stir until mixed.  Add the broth of your choice, and simmer until potatoes are barely fork tender (we don’t want to make mashed potatoes).  Stir in the half and half.  Continue to heat until serving temperature is reached.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Add the parsley.


Bon appétitJ



After a long absence…

Hi All,

I have been very lax about this blog.  Right now, as it begins to be harvest time, it brings up making recipes, putting up herbs, and vegetables.  My youngest daughter is doing a blog now about her adventures in exploring her culinary side.  This is a great way to share recipes, so I am back.  In my defense, I got out of it due to many things trying to get pieces of my time, especially last year, and then I just got out of the habit.  So..onward and to the garden.

Down East Clam Chowder

Attributed to Yankee Magazine.  The original and the purist version!

Attributed to Yankee Magazine. The original and the purist version!

This recipe is from “Yankee Magazine”. It is a simple, yet incredibly wonderful recipe. This is the one I’ve always used, and it is delicious.

4 dozen hard-shell clams, scrubbed, or 1 quart shucked cooked clams with their broth
1/4 pound cubed salt pork or 6 slices bacon
1 onion, coarsely chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half or evaporated milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper
Pour clams into a large pot with 1 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until shells open, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then shuck clams and set aside. Pour off broth and reserve, taking care not to disturb any sediment in the bottom of the pan.

Cook salt pork in a large saucepan over medium heat until the fat runs. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender. Pour off half the fat.

Add potatoes to the pan and stir well. Add clam broth and just enough water to cover the potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add milk and half-and-half (or evaporated milk); bring to a simmer. Add clams and butter; simmer a few minutes until clams are heated through and butter is melted. (Do not boil or clams will be tough.) Season with salt and pepper.

A Beginning and an Ending-Goodbye to 2014, and Welcome to 2015

Today got to a balmy 51 degrees. I was so needing some vitamin D!  We went out there and cleaned up the 2014 garden (hence the ending part of the title). There was old vines, frozen plants as the last two weeks have just been crazy in terms of weather, and then there was the holidays before that. Anyway, it was a time for evaluation of what had made it, and what hadn’t.  Some herbs are perennial, and I hoped that we still had some of our fresh herbs. Of course, winter is not over yet, but the days are getting longer.  Eventually, there will be enough light to stave off the cold, and it will be mostly in the wee hours of the night.

The Ending part was that there were many dead broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard and peas that we never got.  We hauled the husks to the street, and then focused on what did make it.

The Beginning is that many of the herbs did make it.  There is a ton of fresh cilantro to pick, the oregano is prolific, sage, lavender and rosemary (although I think the rosemary won’t make it), horseradish and summer savory all looked pretty happy.  We cleared all the debris away, pruned the lemongrass, and cut all the raspberry canes down to the ground.  They were already green, and looked like they were already trying to bud.  The asparagus national forest has been trimmed down, and it all looks neat and clean.  We still have our Brussell sprouts and collards and leeks still to come.  We had sauteed Brussell sprouts tonight with garlic, butter and herbs.  Yummy:) I “think” the artichokes made it, although they are decidedly not happy. I will baby them, as they are wonderful.

It doesn’t look like much, but I did take a picture. It looks LOW, compared to the midsummer six foot tall plants.  However, it has begun.  Out of the wreckage comes a new garden season.–welcome 2015.