Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black-Eyed Peas and New Year's Good Fortune for All

And p.s.: yes, we'll be having our traditional black-eyed peas (and here) for good luck tomorrow.  Steve found fresh ones at the market yesterday--an unusual find for us in this season of the year.  I think perhaps they'd been shelled and kept very cold (semi-frozen?) from summer until now.  Because I have the mother of all colds right now and can detect nothing beyond hot or cold with my taste buds, how to cook them will be a challenge, since I can't taste as I cook.  I think I may go for something as zingy as possible, to try to give them even a modicum of flavor to detect through the miasma of the cold--perhaps a salad presentation, with lots of chopped garlic and parsley, a bit of sweet onion, and good wine vinegar and olive oil? 

I enjoyed Julia Moskin's recent New York Times article about the resurrection of Southern food and the hoppin' John tradition of the South Carolina lowcountry, though I'm bamfoozled by her reference to the "golden yellow corn bread" that she claims Carolinians eat with hoppin' John.  Unless the South Carolina lowcountry is a culinary island set entirely apart from the rest of the South, there's no such thing as "golden yellow cornbread" in traditional Southern cooking.  Cornbread is always made from white cornmeal.  The moment I see a slice of yellow cornbread, I know immediately what I'll be getting if I bite into it--the cloyingly sweet, repulsively soft cakelike thing that passes for cornbread in parts north of us.

Though chacun decidedly à son goût.

And though, dear God, could anything be sillier (and stupider) than Fox news's attempt to find anti-Southern prejudice in that Times article?  A year without stupidity (other than my own lamentable stupidity): that's what I'd like to see in 2012.

Along with many servings of piping hot cornbread made with white cornmeal and without a speck of sugar.  One must dream . . . . 

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