Mack's Corner

This Week

New Year's Resolutions

I was thinking about New Year's resolutions. I make New Year's resolutions the same way I give up things for Lent (I usually give up eating liver and sky diving. I could probably give up both of them for life, but then I would have to come up with something else for Lent.) My New Year's resolutions are either something I do every day or something that is totally hopeless and so I don't feel too bad if I don't get it done.
Here's my list, I know you'll want to add these to yours:

1. Eat junk food every day, mostly Ice cream.

2. Win the Mr. Universe contest.

3. Become a Victoria's Secret model (I don't really look good in lace, but I might if I was Mr. Universe. I could do wings!).

4. Win the Nobel Prize (maybe for developing a new flavor of ice cream).

5. Drink 4 gallons of Coke (I should be able to do that in a year).

6. Be a finalist in The Voice (I have great stage presence and I can make songs "My own").

7. Learn French (I always wanted to speak French so I could talk like Magua, the Huron warrior, (Wes Studi) who's the bad guy in "The last of the Mohicans". He sounds really cool...)

8. Win Iron Chef (no monkfish).

9. Write a New York Times bestseller.

10. Sleep at least 4 hours every night.

God's like that: He doesn't expect you to turn in to Billy Graham or the Pope overnight. He just wants you to be the person he made you to be. The trick is that you have to talk to God to figure that out.. Start small, 2 minutes a day? You can do that. God can do that too… He's waiting for you.. 

I've got to go force down some Ice Cream, maybe I'll make a Coke float, good practice for Iron Chef and the Nobel Prize.... I could win it! .. Maybe I'll write a book about it….


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

New Year's day is Saturday. If you live in the south you have to have some black eyed peas. It's good luck, its tradition, and it's easy and good and cheap.

Super Easy Recipe from "How to cook Everything" by Mark Bittman

Black Eyed peas / Hoppin John:

2 cups fresh, or frozen black-eyed peas

3 meaty ham hocks.. (grocery store) or 1/2 pound of bacon chopped

2 large onions chopped

Salt & Pepper

Vinegar to taste

Tabasco (optional)

2 cups Rice for "Hoppin John" (optional)
Place the peas in a large pot with water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim foam if needed. Add the ham hocks, onions, and 1/2 tsp of pepper .. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover loosely, stir occasionally, add more water if needed. Cook at least  1 1/2 hours .. Taste it … When the peas are very soft. Take out the ham hocks and continue to cook reducing the liquid.  When the ham hocks are cool enough to handle chop all the meat and return it to the peas. Taste…. Add some salt if needed …

If you want to make "Hoppin John" = Black eyed peas and rice: Stir in 2 cups of rice here.  (You may need to add some water for the rice, but hold off on that till you add the rice. If it gets too dry add a little water)

Continue to cook until the peas are very soft and tender (at least 20 minutes if you added rice. Taste the rice to be sure it's cooked). Drain if necessary and re-season with salt & pepper, vinegar (vinegar is a great way to season things and not use as much salt), and Tabasco ..

This is one of those things that gets better the next day…

Serve in a warm bowl with some cornbread .. You can add anything you like: chopped green onions, tomatoes, chutney, pickles, olive oil, Piccalilli , chow-chow, anything … This is like eating chili, there are no rules on what you put on top …. Great football food



Posted by Mack Oates at 9:49 AM