Ringing in the New Year

Well 2020 is finally over. It is now behind us FOREVER. Let’s hope 2021 is better for everyone.

We had a small New Year’s gathering at our house to make sure 2020 actually left and 2021 was really happening. Jonathan, Priscilla, Laura and Gabe all came over for dinner.

We are ready to eat and ready to celebrate.

As usual, Priscilla, Laura and I all made parts of the dinner. Being 1/2 Texan, black-eyed peas were definitely a focal point of the dinner. I served them Caribbean style this time, with some lemon rice and jerk chicken.

Laura made these fabulous spinach balls with an aioli sauce as an appetizer.

Priscilla made a delicious gingerbread cake for dessert. Everything was so good!!!!! And of course, we had lots of wine and champagne throughout the evening as well as plenty of good food food, good conversations and a lot of fun. After dinner, we all joined Janet and Bob for a ZOOM Farkle game. Everyone had a good time. There were lots of laughs and stories told, and we all made sure we stayed up to ring in the new year and kick 2020 to the curb.

We are all set up and ready to let the Farkle games begin. May the best person win. (I won this time). ๐Ÿ™‚

Black-eyed peas are a Southern tradition for New Years. They are believed to bring good luck to all those who eat them at New Years. New Yearโ€™s Good Luck with Black-Eyed Peas and Hamย Soup. I made a BIG batch of the black-eyes peas too. I wanted to make sure we all had A LOT of good luck for 2021 to make up for how bad 2020 was. It was fun to make them Caribbean style too.

Caribbean Style Black-Eyed Peas

1 lb dried black-eyed peas

2 TBSP olive oil

1 onion, diced fine

1/2 small pumpkin cut into chunks

2 celery stalks, diced fine

1-2 TBSP garlic

1 red bell pepper, diced fine

3-4 jalapenos, diced fine

salt & pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste, optional

4 bay leaves

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp thyme

8 oz of fresh spinach, kale or greens, chopped rough

4-5 cups chicken, vegetable or ham stock

green onions for topping

Soak the black-eyed peas in water, enough to completely cover them for at least 6-12 hours. Then drain and rinse them.

In a large pot, heat the oil, then add the vegetables and spices and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.

Add the beans and mix everything together well.

Add the stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 1 hour, stirring frequently.

Add the spinach and thoroughly mix into the mixture, just until it becomes wilted throughout, then remove from the heat and serve.

Serve it with either white, yellow, or lemon rice and top with chopped green onions. I served mine with Caribbean jerk chicken, but ham or pork would go well with this dish too. Champagne, Proseco, or a sparkling white wine or a crispy, citrusy white wine would be a very nice accompaniment for this dish. It is very colorful and very festive, and full of Caribbean flavor and warmth.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2021 brings you all lots of good luck, health and happiness. Cheers!

Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

22 thoughts on “Ringing in the New Year”

    1. Thank you. No. We didn’t. Even if we did, it would be very tiny because most people would not have come anyway, due to COVID. If we have one this year, do you want to come out? You know I will feed well, and it will be a lot of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jeanne – I want to wish you a belated Happy New Year! It sounds like you had a lot of fun! We had black-eyed peas as well! I am always looking for different ways to use the ingredients that I grew up with, so thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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