2019 is just around the bend
Another year is behind us and 2019 is just around the bend. Since I did not make any resolutions last year, I do not plan to make any this year. I enjoy talking with others and hearing their resolutions and the stories about last year’s successful or unsuccessful resolutions. No matter what your resolution may be, I wish nothing but good health and happiness, peace in the world, adequate food and clothing for the needy, warm homes for all and compassion in your heart for others.
This is a new year tradition in all parts of the world. The tradition, which dates back to the 1880s, is to cook the famous dish in order to have good luck in the new year. My mom always had a pot of the black-eyed peas cooking with a chunk of fat meat. She would also have a pan or two of fresh homemade biscuits ready for the oven. Sometimes she flavored the beans with the leftover ham bone from Christmas dinner. To begin, soak a bag of dried blackeyed peas in cold water for four to five hours. Drain the water off. In a large soup pot, begin boiling the seasoning meat — ham bone, fat meat or a hock. Let the meat begin boiling then add the beans, drained, and salt and pepper to taste. When a rolling boil begins, turn back heat to a steady boil, cover with lid and let cook; pull the lid slightly to the side to prevent boiling over. As the beans cook, you can add white corn, thin carrot slices and some diced potatoes. Just before the beans are done, you can also drop some dumplings in. Taste for seasonings and add more if needed. Serve with your fresh baked bread. This soup is exceptionally good on a cold wintry day. Enjoy.
Lasagna without precooking noodles
OK, so we all don’t want black-eyed peas for the New Year, so why not this quick lasagna? This dish can cook while the peas are cooking and can be put in the oven with your baking bread. In the bottom of a casserole dish, place tomato sauce, followed by the raw lasagna noodles, followed by another layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle the desired amount of ricotta cheese, more raw lasagna noodles, a layer of mozzarella cheese, more sauce, more ricotta cheese, slightly more mozzarella cheese, raw lasagna noodles and ending on top with another layer of sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. After you remove from the oven, pour a little hot sauce on top if desired. What you are actually doing is using your favorite lasagna recipe, layering it without cooking the noodles. The noodles become so tender it is almost unbelievable.
Traditional Eastern Shore oyster stew
This is another Eastern Shore favorite for any time of the year but especially in the winter. I love this stew and I can eat it any time of the year but especially on cold, blustery days. In a large saucepan slightly cook 1 pt. of freshly shucked Maryland oysters with their own liquor over low heat until edges of the oysters start to curl slightly. Remove heat and add 1 qt. milk, 1/4 cup butter and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with oyster crackers. There are many versions of oyster stew. Some add diced vegetables. I prefer the simple flavor of the oyster. Any way you like them, don’t forget the hard work of our watermen.
Enjoy today’s recipes. Be safe this New Year’s Eve, and I wish you a wonderful, healthy, happy New Year.