Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hoppin' John

Whether you just like Hoppin' John or think it will bring you good luck in the New Year, you can't lose.  It is one of those traditions born from slavery that has become savored by all over time,
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham, or ham hock as pictured above
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • salt to taste
  • sliced sweet onion, optional
full recipe


  1. I went to grade school PS 174 in the East New York section of Brooklyn during the late 50s, early 60s. The school had a librarian who was a Southern black woman named Miss Lewis. She was extremely brilliant, spoke fluent French, was widely traveled. Unfortunately, she was bad tempered and (hate to say this) had a reputation as being a sort of female Uncle Tom.

    Well, she did have a good side to her in that she once invited a group of kids from the school to eat dinner at her large home. I was one of them. For dinner she served us Hoppin John. And it was fabulous!

    Over the years I have made the dish (cooking being my hobby) and it has always been a delight. Southern cooking has subtle taste and it makes you feel good. Perhaps that's why it is called "soul food".


  2. Oh, I forgot to mention that corn bread was served on the side. Ever since, I have had a lifelong love for corn bread and eat it VERY often.

  3. This might be a fun series to watch in the new year:

  4. Corn bread is one of my favorites too, and I make it a lot over here!

  5. Can't go wrong with a bowl of Hoppin John and some cornbread! bosox

  6. Speaking of food one of the books I received for XMas was "The Table comes First",Family,France, and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik.Also when I was in Rochester NY in October my friends Italian born wife made Beans and Greens which I'm now hooked on.I am making it sat night for like the 4th time in the past five weeks.It's pretty simple but so good on a cool night.Plus you can do it vegetarian or add the hot Italian Sausage.Anyone wants the recipe I'll type it out.bosox

  7. Diane,I sent it to you by email.Hope I included everything.bosox

  8. Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection

    From Kirkus Reviews
    Culinary historian Hess (coauthor, The Taste of America, 1977- -not reviewed) explores the rice cooking of South Carolina, where that food has been and is a ritual staple. Hess traces the worldwide forces and migrations behind the cultivation in South Carolina of ``Carolina Gold,'' the world's most prized rice from the late 1600's to the early 1900's. (Today's packaged rice with the brand name ``Carolina,'' while decent, is not grown in that state and bears no relation to its former crop except for adopting the prestigious name.) The author makes clear that it was slaves brought from rice-cultivating parts of Africa whose knowledge and efforts established and maintained the local Carolina rice industry, which began to die out after emancipation because their masters lacked the necessary rice-growing background- -though, more than other Americans, they did share a rice-eating past ...

    We came across this matter in our reading of 1491. Rather interesting, I think.

  9. I thought rice growing along with indigo and other low country plantation crops died out with the advent of cotton, as it proved more profitable.

  10. basmati rice =

    very flavorful - much tastier than Carolina rice