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Carrie Fancett Pagels' "The Substitute Bride" in O' Little Town of Christmas collection is a 2016 Published MAGGIE AWARD FINALIST in Romance Novellas!!!


Tea Party winners: Roseanna M. White's winner is Debbie Wilder, Denise Weimer's print copy of Widow goes to Andrea Stephens, Debra E. Marvin's winners for Ebook collection are Cheryl Baranski and Rachel Koppendrayer, Carrie Fancett Pagels' ebook collection goes to Joan Arning and paperback to Connie, Gina Welborn's winner is Regina Fujitani, Gabrielle Meyer's paperback copy of A Mother in the Making is Teri Geist DiVincenzo

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Southern Traditions - Hoppin' John


Hopping John  ~  Hoppin’ John


By Janet Grunst


For many years we have begun each New Year with Hopping John.  This traditional southern dish, also known as ‘Hoppin’ John in America, originated in North Africa and was probably brought to these shores as a result of the slave trade. The use of black-eyed peas dates back at least 3000 years when it was part of the Greek and Roman diet. There are many theories on how the name Hopping John started, from folks inviting guests into their homes at the new year with “hop in John” to children hopping around the table before sitting to enjoy the meal. Black-eyed peas are generally considered to assure good luck.

There are many recipes for Hopping John, but the primary ingredients in this tasty dish are black-eyed peas, also known as cow peas, rice and pork. Typically the dried peas are first soaked then cooked. Salt pork is added later. I started out doing just that, however, I’ve gone to a far simpler recipe in recent years. Let me share my recipe, and also how I’ve recently updated it at the urging of my husband who prefers it a bit spicier.

Hopping John

2 cups of canned black eyed peas
½ - 1 lb bacon
(reserve 2 Tablesp of bacon drippings)
½ teasp. Black pepper
½ teasp. Salt
1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. When rice is done, add black eyed peas, cooked bacon with a couple of Tablespoons of drippings, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.


Spicier Hopping John 

2 cups of canned black eyed peas
½ lb bacon
(reserve 2 Tablesp of bacon drippings)
1 medium chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/ teasp of crushed red pepper flakes
½ teasp. Black pepper
½ teasp. Salt
1 cup white uncooked white rice

Cook rice according to directions. Fry bacon and set aside. Sauté chopped onion in reserved bacon drippings until soft and clear. Add garlic and pepper flakes to onion and heat for a couple of minutes. When rice is done, add black eyed peas, cooked bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir together and heat on low heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Chill leftovers and reheat when you are ready for more.

There are many variations for this southern dish so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

We never considered eating it would bring good luck, but we would enjoy our Hopping John every New Years and hope that our new year would be blessed. When our meal was over, my sons would often remark, “Mom, we like this, why do we only get to have it once a year?” 




4 comments:

  1. we do this at our house in Ga and I put roitel tomatoes w/chilies in it and makes it even better. thanks for sharing today.
    Happy New Year
    Paula O

    ReplyDelete
  2. Janet, SO glad to have your recipes here as I'm making this this weekend and can't wait! I actually make it at various times of the year as I'm like your sons;) It's pretty nutritious, too! Happy New Year to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We also have Hoppin' John--because a funny family story is attached to that dish. I wrote about it here, http://ethercapacious.blogspot.com/

    I landed on your blog while searching blogs for Southern Traditions for New Year's Day.

    I had no idea there was Colonial American Christian Writers group--now see what I've found!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Laura, if you tried the Hopping John, I hoped it worked out. I think next year I'm going for a compromise and make it a little less spicy.

    ReplyDelete

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