Monday, December 30, 2013

December Daily #29 ~ Redeemed with the Dog and Hoppin' John

It was another beautiful day in Colorado today and I rose from bed resolved to make good on my promise to take the dog to the park. I did knock out a few more scrapbooking pages while we waited for the weather to warm up. Then we headed to the Golden Dog Park, a nice, woodsy place. Larr brought along a pocket full of treats to use while helping teach Remmie to come when we call him. I stayed at the bottom of the hill and Larr was up a short trail. This was also a sneaky way to get the dog to run.
It worked like a charm. A bit later other dogs started showing up and Remmie had a grand time. Larr also began working with Remmie on climbing trees, or at least walking up one. This is part of what the breed does. Remmie was a quick learner.
He is such a good pup, and lovely, too.
By the time we were home I was inspired to take down the Christmas tree and begin to put the place back into order. I even started doing a semi-deep cleaning in the craft room. It is nice to see the table top again.

We heard from the kids several times. They are headed back home at full speed ahead as they both have New Year's Eve plans. Thankfully, they still both sound happy, though California, or at least San Diego and La Hoya, were different, colder I think, than they had expected. I think they might have underestimated what winter is like there. They enjoyed the visit, but don't have any plans to move there any time soon. I am always glad that I am from Colorado, no matter where I roam. Perhaps they are the same way, too. Several people asked about their accents - funny, I didn't think we had any.

Inbetween stages of cleaning I also made a vegan batch of Hoppin' John, as well as a batch with ham added in. It is said to be good luck to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Eve. (I also happen to like black eyed peas.)

As I lounge with the husband, play with the dog, cook a meal, worry about the kids and do a bit of cleaning, I have music in my head. Today it was a good day for Leonard Cohen and The Beatles. I wonder what it will be tomorrow.
Here's the recipe I used, except that I will not add in the hot sauce until just before serving it as I want the pop of flavor that it will add, instead of it mellowing while it settles in.

Creole Black-eyed Peas
via: Fat Free Vegan Blog

This is so much faster in a pressure cooker, but if you don’t have one, soak your peas overnight and follow the instructions at the end of the recipe.

1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke flavoring

Spray the bottom of a large pressure cooker with a light film of oil. Over high heat, sauté the onion until it begins to brown; add the bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and water, seal the cooker, and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to come down naturally.
Once the pressure is down, open the cooker and add all remaining ingredients except Liquid Smoke. Cook for 15-30 minutes, until peas are completely soft and thickened. Add the Liquid Smoke and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot over rice with more hot sauce on the table.
To make without a pressure cooker, soak the peas overnight in cold water. Drain. Follow the directions for sautéing the vegetables. Then add all ingredients except liquid smoke to the pot, along with enough additional water to cover the peas by one inch. Cook until peas are completely tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding more water as necessary. When they’re tender, add the Liquid Smoke, cook for 5 more minutes, and serve over rice.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 2 hour(s)

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