A New Year Recipe from Shelley Shepard Gray

DaybreakThis recipe was submitted to us by the lovely Shelley Shepard Gray, author of many, many wonderful Amish fiction titles. It is a recipe to help you ring in the New Year (it’s still pretty new!) and bring you luck in 2013. Please enjoy. =)

December 31, 2012

It happened last night. Around 10:00, I wrote my two favorite words in a manuscript: The End.

I had just finished Eventide, the third book of my series for 2013-The Days of Redemption. Coincidentally, I was writing it all about twenty-four hours before 2012 ended. Talk about perfect timing!

Today, I woke up with a big smile. I love to write, but I also do love having a day off every once in a while. So I’ve been truly enjoying that. I took my daughter to the movies and out to lunch. Soon, I’m going to put on an apron and begin preparations for dinner tonight. We’re having standing rib roast, potatoes, creamed spinach, and Bananas Foster for dessert. My husband and I enjoy cooking together–and just recently we’re been having fun flambéing things! Our kids are sure we’re in the middle of some strange mid-life crises. <g>

Tomorrow, I’ll be recalling my past as we celebrate the New Year by making a big pot of black-eyed peas. Here in Cincinnati, everyone loves pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. Personally, I can’t think of anything worse!

Growing up in Houston, we had black-eyed peas on New Year’ Day. My parents served it with hot cornbread and a plate of jalapeños on the side. Whenever I pick up all the ingredients, it brings back memories of warm kitchens and my father soaking peas overnight. And that first spicy bite around noon on New Year’s Day…always followed by a wish for good luck.

This year, I’ll be hoping for continued good health. I’ll be wishing good luck to my brother and sister, and of course, hoping for many good things for my husband and kids, other family members and friends. And in the middle of it all, I’ll be hoping that everyone will enjoy my new series, too.

The Days of Redemption Series begins with Daybreak in February, follows with Ray of Light, and finally ends with Eventide next August. It’s an Amish series set in Berlin, Ohio. Three generations of the Keim family are featured. And between you and me…well, they have so many dark secrets, they can certainly use a little luck!

In case you’re anxious to try out some black-eyed peas, below is our family’s recipe. Enjoy them, and don’t forget the cornbread!

I wish you many blessings for 2013, and a little bit of luck, too!

Shelley Shepard Gray

New Year’s Day Black-eyed Peas

1 pound dried black-eyed peas

Dash of garlic powder

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

One 14-ounce package sausage (such as Hillshire Farm beef smoked sausage), cut into ½-inch slices

1 Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced, optional

1 tablespoon flour

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1)      Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in a pan of water. Drain, then add fresh water to cover. Add the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and bouillon cubes and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. The peas will still be a little tough at this point. Add about a cup of water if it boils too low.

2)      Add the sausages and potato to the peas. Cook until the potatoes are soft and beans are tender, about 10 more minutes. The mixture will be a little thicker at this point.

3)      In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, green pepper, and jalapeño (if using) and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, until the onion begins to turn clear. Then, gently whisk in flour and vinegar and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. The mixture will be fairly thick.

4)      Add the onion-pepper mixture to the peas and stir to blend and heated through. Enjoy with cornbread!

Daybreak is available for pre-order wherever books and e-books are sold.

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