Short version: Pork chunks, black-eyed peas, rice, beet greens, leftover peas, seltzer
Long version: Happy New Year! Now, as you know if you've been reading here for longer than a year, I always, and I mean ALWAYS, make pork, greens, and black-eyed peas for New Year's Day dinner. How else can I ensure our health, wealth, and happiness in the coming year?
I have to admit that this year's effort was a bit lame. I forgot to put dried black-eyed peas on the list for A., so I didn't have a big pot of peas like I usually would. Luckily, I did have a can of black-eyed peas that came to us from the commodities program via a neighbor. So we did have at least some happiness.
I also didn't have very much in the way of greens, thanks to the brutal cold and wretched rabbits that have attacked the collard greens out in the garden. I did have some beet greens, though, so I made those.
The pork was some random cut I pulled out of the freezer and chunked up before frying with paprika and garlic powder.
And the seltzer was for our festive toast to the new year. I made it even more festive by putting a slice of actual lemon in each glass, AND by giving the children actual glasses with handles (which are actually jars that a Texas company sells jam in).
For my seltzer, I used a beer stein that my parents got for me in Germany years ago. I don't drink beer, so this seemed like a better use for it. The children were fascinated by it, though honestly I find it heavy and awkward. You can't see in the photo below, but it has one of those pewter covers on the top, and that just gets in the way.
Still! It was festive!
Short version: Bull meat, leftover rice, green salad, exciting artichoke appetizer
Long version: I had some more pork chunks from the day before that I had cut up, but it wasn't quite enough and I knew everyone would be very hungry after a long hike we took to see an ancient combine harvester that was abandoned a hundred years ago in the middle of nowhere.
Anyway, I took out one of those half gallon jars of pressure canned bull meat instead. I thought one of those jars would be enough for two meals.
How foolishly optimistic of me. Half a gallon of meat is ONE meal for us.
The artichoke was one that A. bought in Taos for me. I love artichokes and haven't had one in years. Pretty much everything I have ever seen in the food world about preparing artichokes involves trimming the leaves with shears. My mother never did that, so I don't, either. Anyway, half the fun is scraping the leaves with your teeth.
Just ask my children. I shared the artichoke with them. They've never had one, so I had to demonstrate the proper technique for removing the leaves, dipping them in the olive oil and vinegar mixture (also what my mother always did), and teeth scraping.
They loved it. Of course.
Short version: Roasted chicken, carrots, and potatoes; roasted onions and tomatoes; green peas; vanilla ice cream with maple syrup
Long version: This was a really large meal that came out well, but I feel like there's not too much to say about it.
Oh! EXCEPT! (I always have something to say, right?)
Those roasted tomatoes? Those were the VERY LAST fresh tomatoes from the garden. The ones that were harvested way back in October. "Fresh" was pretty relative by this point, because they had gotten kind of wrinkly and mummifed, but they were delicious roasted.
Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, fried onions, mashed potatoes, green salad with ranch dressing
Long version: I took out another of those enormous rolls of ground beef from the freezer and made the whole thing into hamburger patties. We ate some this night, and then I froze about 25 more.
I guess that's one good thing about those awkward quantities of meat: It forces me to prep ahead.
Short version: Breakfast sausage patties, pasta with pesto, frozen green peas
Long version: Epiphany! Otherwise known as Presents: Take Two.