My Mama had a theory. She said "you spend your year like you spent your New Year's Eve."
I hope that's so. Auburn won the Chick Fil A bowl, I was with Randy, and I was in the company of a woman I love to death, Gloria "Bo the Writer." Jeffrey was happy and with his Dad for a much-needed visit. Daddy was happy with Mary in Kentucky.
We drove to Gainesville for Joe and Gay Haldeman's annual New Year's Eve party. I've been going since I started dating Randy, and this was my fourth party in five years. Truth to tell, I was sick and didn't feel like going, but I drove the 4 1/2 hours for Randy. See. he's been to this party every year since 1992 -- except last year, when my shoulder surgery grounded him here in Milledgeville. He doesn't ask much of me, so I did this. The things we do for love. (Joe Haldeman is a world-famous science fiction writer. There were a lot of science fiction writers there. I don't read or even like science fiction, but don't tell them, ok?)
Anyway, I spent four hours in the company of lovely Gloria, Gay, and Randy, talking and watching the people. OK, four hours minus an hour to hear the football game on radio, but War Eagle, Auburn won. Four hours in front of a buffet table without a speck of food I dare eat (because of gluten cross contamination). About 11:30 I found some individually wrapped Laughing Cow cheese and ate two pieces, but otherwise, I didn't eat a bit.
But one of the guest was commenting on how food and parties and company are all related. Company=compaigne (in French -- what is it in Spanish, Kate?) = com (con=with) pain (bread). ETC. You know, sometimes it has to be more about the company than the food. This party was not my party, not given in my honor, so should NOT have been gluten free. I enjoyed it anyway.
My mother also insisted that you have your hoppin' john on New Year's Day. Did you have some black eyed peas and greens? Gloria made beautiful collards for the party, but I couldn't have any -- the meat versions had Accent (msg) in them, and since my last allergic reaction, I didn't want to have them. And the vegetarian ones had soy sauce in them. Ack. When i got home yesterday, I was simply too tired and sick to cook, so I didn't have my greens. But I PROMISE I'll have my leftover hoppin john and some spinach for supper tonight. Greens mean MONEY, honey.
Do you have any new year's revolutions? I call them revolutions, because, done right, they'll change your life. Julie wrote about a theme, and I have decided my New Year's Revolution is "Get That Crap Out of your House!"
I have too much junk. I have too much junk in the trunk. There is a relationship there. So MY New Year's resolution is this:
1. If you don't need it right now, don't buy it.
2. If you really need it, pay cash for it.
3. If you can't pay cash for it, you shouldn't get it.
4. If you can unload it, do it, and get some money for it if you can.
5. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Notice that a diet is not on my list. Nope. If I follow the above, my food consumption will reduce automatically. And thus, my weight. I need to be healthy, not thin. There's a difference when you're 50.
I also vow to you my friends and readers here at Gluten Free in Georgia (and Florida) that I will get back on the recipe train. Even if it's not New Year's Eve, try this hoppin john. It's lean and mean, and hearty this time of year.
One bag frozen black-eyed peas
One small onion chopped
One Stick of Celery, chopped
Large glove of garlic, chopped
Seasoning of choice (I like hot pepper in my peas, but otherwise, salt and pepper)
Three pieces of lean ham, chopped
3 cups of water
2 cups Minute Rice
Saute the ham and veggies and add black eyed peas. Cook til it's soupy and boiling.
Add Minute Rice when it is at a boil, then remove from heat, and let sit five minutes.
Season more with jalapeno peppers and more chopped onions. It was hearty and made me keep my Mama's resolution, too. If you eat your hoppin' john, you'll have PLENTY.
Plenty of what? Hope. Happiness. Love.
and Much Love! in this blessed new year.