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New Year’s Feast 2011

January 3, 2011

Happy New Years!

It is time for the traditional feast. Which will be, as usual for me, not on New Year’s Day. New Years day was taken up by relaxation and a minor road trip to Whitetail for some night skiing. AWESOME.

So the meal of luck and prosperity comes on the 2nd, which is conveniently a Sunday and also a Ravens’ game day. Thank you, New Year’s Eve, for falling on a Friday.

Traditionally, New Years dinner means black-eyed peas, collard greens and pork. Black-eyeds represent growing luck as they swell when they are cooked, collards represent dollar bills for wealth and pork represents both prosperity and luck. There are numerous different definitions for these foods, but most tend to agree that they all promote a prosperous and luck filled year to come.

For cooking the black-eyed peas and collards: First, you need to just forfeit all health resolutions and purchase some fat back. Trust me, its worth it. Also, get a one-pound bag of black-eyeds and about 8 cups of fresh collards [the giant bags they sell pre-cut and washed in the store are perfect]. Soak the beans for a few hours before you start cooking (I think this can be skipped but I still do it). When you’re ready to start cooking, place the collards and black-eyeds in their respective pots and fill them with water until they are covered. While waiting on those to boil, brown your fatback, I use about ¼ of a pound of fatback between both pots. When the fatback is browned, drain the grease and split the fatback between the two pots. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper to each pot. If they aren’t already boiling, wait until they are and then turn them down to simmer for at least an hour. Continue to check on the black-eyeds, as they will need water added when it runs low. These can both be kept on low for a few hours after they are done.

I originally wanted to try and cook my own pulled pork in the Crock Pot, but Mom sent me back to Baltimore with a GIANT smoked Boston Butt from GA, so I decided to heat that up. It is one of the tastiest pieces of smoked meat I have had, but I did want to try to make some BBQ sauce. I perused a few BBQ sauce recipes and got a general feel for the ingredients. Then I went for it. It ended up a little spicy and a little sweet with a nice meaty flavor.

Steak’s BBQ sauce:

3 pieces bacon

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup water

1/8 cup rice vinegar (could also use regular vinegar)

1 Tbsp Paprika

1 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

a pinch of seasoned salt

Directions: Cook bacon and drain grease. Return bacon to pan with garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, then add ketchup through seasoned salt and simmer for 5 minutes. LET COOL then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.

I also made some Jiffy Bread (probably one of the best cornbread mixes available). And with the help of a few friends, a great football game and some Just Dance competitions on the Wii, most of the meal was devoured. But we still managed to end up with some leftovers for later!

After our nap..

Happy 2011!

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