Monday, August 28, 2006

Hoppin' John

So last week I read The Member of the Wedding. It just seemed fittin' since it's set in a town resembling Columbus, GA (whose kids are at the Little League World Series right now). It's also set in August, the dog days of summer. I have to admit I picked it up and started it because it's a slim little volume, and I was feeling overwhelmed. It's good in that Eudora Welty/Flannery O'Connor/Faulknerish kind of way, southern gothic, maybe?

Anyway, whenever I read a novel, I always want to eat what the characters are eating. Surely I'm not the only one. The pages of my books are so stained, it's embarrassing to lend them out.

Most of this novel is set in the kitchen, where the characters (the cook, a 12 yo girl, and a 6 yo boy) are eating and talking and playing cards. The main character is Frankie the 12 yo girl, and her favorite food is Hoppin' John. So I made some last night and it was wonderful. I served it with cornbread and sliced tomatoes, although in the book, they have baked sweet potatoes and buttermilk along with the cornbread.

Here's the recipe, from the back of the Ranch Style Beans Blackeyed Peas can:

Hoppin' John
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
2 cans black eyed peas, undrained
8 oz. Kielbasa, thinly sliced (I use any smoked sausage)
1 cup uncooked rice
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 can chicken broth

Heat oil in large skillet. Saute onion, celery and garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients, heat to boil, reduce heat and cover tightly. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. 6 servings.

Yesterday I typed in a post about Fabric Stash (I've been cleaning out) and it got lost, so I'll come back to it this week. I just got a bid on sewing room cabinets this morning, so that project might be going forward soon. I'm sew excited, heh.


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