2019 is just around the bend

Times-Record - - CHURCH - By MARIE SAV­AGE Food Colum­nist

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.

Black-eyed peas

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.

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