Thursday, December 31, 2009
Ring in the New Year with good luck
People around the world eat special food on New Years. In
Spain, Mexico and they eat twelve grapes, one for each month, at the stroke of midnight. The fruits are a predictor of the year ahead. If the grape is sweet, the month will be good one and if it’s sour, a bad one. Martha Stewart suggests adapting the tradition by threading twelve grapes on a wooden skewer and serving them with champagne. Martha knows best, so I followed her lead as you can see. I used pink grapes as well as green grapes. Cuba
I grew up in the south and we always ate black-eyed peas to bring us good luck in the coming year. The peas look like little coins when cooked, so they are thought to symbolize wealth. They also swell when cooked, another sign of prosperity. Our recipe for Southern Black-eyed Pea Caviar includes ham for an extra measure of good luck.
Easily doubled or tripled. Very pretty served in silver footed compotes lined with soft lettuce.
1 (15.8 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed well
¾ cup cubed ham steak
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
and Worcestershire sauce Tabasco
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 ½ cups chopped tomato
2 tablespoons chopped scallion including some green tops
2 tablespoon chopped seeded fresh jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
Jalapeno slices and cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
Place drained black-eyed peas in a bowl. Saute the ham over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Let ham cool for a moment, then add to the peas. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Refrigerate for a couple of hours for flavor to develop. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with chips for scooping.
This year of blogging has been so much fun and the best part was getting to know each of you. Thank you for your emails, letters, comments and calls. They all bring me so much pleasure that words cannot express. I hope you have a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year and the best life has to offer.
Cheers from My
Sam & Meakin