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Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Day’

Castles In The Sand, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Castles In The Sand, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo
© 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Happy New Year to all of our red Ravine readers. When I was talking to my brother on Christmas Day, he said he was going to fire up the winter grill to make my sister-in-law’s luscious Sunshine Shrimp. She commented on ybonesy’s Tamales – A Christmas Tradition  that she would send the recipe along to anyone who wanted to try it. Here it is!

I’m a big shrimp lover, and since I’m allergic to fish, tend to order shrimp whenever I get the craving for seafood (just ask Mom and Liz how many fresh shrimp I ate in Savannah and St. Simons last summer!). All this talk about shrimp led to memories of sunny days at the ocean, so I combed through the archives and landed on the beach at Ocean City, Maryland.

Liz and I joined my mother, sister, and her family there a few years back and had a great time boogie boarding and bodysurfing. (I won’t mention how many pounds of sand ended up my bathing suit when I wiped out!). It’s also the first time Liz met my family so she was very nervous. I’m happy to say, she passed with flying colors!

It’s 4 years later, New Year’s Day 2009 and we’re watching the 120th Annual Tournament of Roses parade and looking forward to more black-eyed peas for lunch. We slow-cooked them last night and ate them right up to midnight. How are you spending your New Year’s Day?



Backbone, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Flipper Claw Of A Dragon, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Face Of A Sand Dragon, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Backbone, Flipper Claw Of A Dragon, Face Of A Sand Dragon, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photos © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




Sunshine Shrimp!



  • 2 lbs medium sized shrimp (peeled & deveined)
  • 2 lbs assorted fresh vegetables cut into 1 inch pieces (yellow squash, green squash, yellow & red bell peppers, red onion). You can also add mushrooms to the mix but J. & I don’t like them in this recipe.
  • 1 medium sized can frozen orange juice concentrate that has been thawed
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic or 2 cloves of garlic that have been pressed
  • 1 tsp dry Dill Weed (or fresh) that has been finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper


In a large storage bag, combine all ingredients. Shake well to coat thoroughly. Chill & marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill & put ingredients on a small slotted grill pan. You can also thread these on a grill skewer if you don’t have a slotted pan.

Grill for 8-12 minutes until shrimp is opaque & vegetables are tender. This can also be done in the oven rack set to broil. Best if done on a grill, though!

Serve hot with white or long grain rice.



 OC Sand Castle, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.OC Sand Castle, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.OC Sand Castle, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Thanks to alittlediddy for her Sunshine Shrimp recipe. Gratitude to all who read, comment, and visit red Ravine. I’m grateful for your presence here. And to my blog partner extraordinaire, ybonesy, I couldn’t do it without you! A very Happy New Year to you and your family and I look forward to another year in creative collaboration with you on red Ravine.

 May your 2009 bring prosperity, love, and joy.



Sand Dragon, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, photo © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Sand Dragon, Ocean City, Maryland, July 2005, all photos © 2005-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, January 1st, 2009

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Cookin' Up Some Good Luck, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  It’s New Year’s Day. And it wouldn’t be New Year’s without black-eyed peas. Black-eyed peas aren’t peas at all but legumes, a member of the trusty bean family.

My family makes Traditional Black-eyed Peas every New Year’s Day for good luck. And black-eyed peas are also the prime ingredient in Hoppin’ John which spices up the peas with lots of onion, hot sauce, sometimes chili powder or jalapeno, and adds the rice right into the pot.

Like its tasty counterpart, Southern grits smothered in butter and grated cheddar cheese, the reputation of the black-eyed pea seems to lie on the tongue of the beholder. Those who did not grow up eating black-eyed peas are prone to think they have an earthy taste (some might say like eating dirt!). But I love the taste of the funny looking bean, and the smell of a big old pot simmering on the kitchen stove takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen.

Black-eyed peas are related to the mung bean (according to the Library of Congress) and have been cultivated since prehistoric times in China and India. They were brought to the West Indies from West Africa by slaves around 1674. And the ancient Greeks and Romans preferred them to chickpeas. Black-eyed peas were considered field crops to the Northerners in the War Between The States and were often left behind in the fields. They became associated with being a humble food and fed many of the Confederate troops.


Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


Wherever the origins of the black-eyed pea, the Good Luck tradition has been carried down from generation to generation. The idea is that if you start out the New Year dining in humility, you will only become more prosperous as the year moves on. Some cook the peas up along with greens and cornbread. According to the myth of fortune, the peas represent coins, the greens symbolize paper money, and cornbread stands for gold.

I imagine the sales of black-eyed peas skyrocket this time of year. A friend called last night to wish Liz and I a Happy New Year. When I told him I was cooking up a pot of black-eyed peas, he said, “Hey, did you add the penny to the pot?” “Penny? What penny?” Liz asked. It wasn’t part of the tradition in our family, but some would add a penny to the pot of black-eyed peas and the person who received the dished up coin would be showered with good fortune all year long.

My mother makes the simple, traditional recipe. And that’s the one I’m including below. I talked to her on the phone yesterday and am dishing up all the little tidbits she mentioned. If you’d like to read more history and recipe variations for black-eyed peas, I’m including all the research links at the end of the post.

I hope you’re warm and celebrating the New Year. It is a time of humble new beginnings, a chance to start over with a clean slate. May your New Year be prosperous and plenty. And full of rich family traditions.


Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.    Black-Eyed Peas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Year's Day 2008, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



Traditional Black-Eyed Peas


Shopping List:

1 package of black-eyed peas (about 2 cups)
1 ham hock
a pinch of salt and pepper

I doubled my recipe because I bought in bulk and had soaked way too many peas. (You should have heard Mom laughing!) The ham hock was from the Wedge Co-Op and ran about 1.46 lbs.

In our family we serve the peas over white rice. Some people prefer brown. You can also spoon them over cornbread (and include the juice). Whatever you prefer to eat with your peas, you’ll need to include that item in your Shopping List.


Cooking Instructions:

  • Rinse peas in large pot
    One package of dried peas is about 2 cups (4 cups soaked)
  • Sort out any pieces of grit, hard or misshapen peas, or anything that looks like it just doesn’t belong there! Bad peas usually float to the top. In the old days, peas from the field had to be sorted for worms and other field critters. This is less of a problem these days.
  • Let stand overnight (at least 8 hours)
    Drain soak water, rinse peas in fresh cold water
    Add 6 cups of hot water (or enough to cover the top of the peas)
  • Add the pork. In our family, this is a ham hock. But you can add fatback, a little bacon grease, or just bits of bacon. We use a ham hock because most of the flavor comes from the bone. Some families saw off pieces of bone from a cooked ham and use that in their black-eyed peas.
  • Cover peas
    Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached (1 1/2 or 2 hours)
  • If you forget to soak the peas the night before, you can do something called a Quick Soak:

         Add a pound of peas to six to eight cups water
         Boil 3 minutes, remove from heat
         Let stand one hour


My sister said she adds Goya ham-flavored concentrate to her black-eyed peas and ham hock to spice them up. It’s like a ham bouillon. She said to keep adding water to the peas if needed to avoid them turning to mush.

She also follows the Northern New Year’s tradition of making a pork loin rolled in sage, rosemary, and parsley and adding sauerkraut. I guess she’ll have double good luck this year!

Happy New Year!


-research links: Seeds of Knowledge Holidays – Black-eyed Peas for New Year’s Day by Brenda Hyde, The Free Lance Star – Fredericksburg, Virginia – This Pea Stands For Prosperity by Marcia Armstrong

-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

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