It’s Time

All good things must come to an end and that goes for our winter break to South Carolina. We hoped to escape the cold northeast but cool weather followed us…. at least in the mornings. We enjoyed a few 70° afternoons and lots of 60-something afternoons, but it was brrrrr brisk at dawn. We’re talking temperatures in the 30’s!

We are happy to be home tackling chores like the mountain of mail, pending commitments and greeting the grandchildren. All need immediate attention.

Over morning coffee, we talked about working off the extra padding we both added to our waistline from tempting southern cuisines. Too many BBQ sandwiches and fried hush puppies was my downfall. Lots of seafood and sauces for mister gardener. There was one restaurant all three of us agreed was the best of our gastronomical journey…. The Santa Fe Cafe, billed as Innovative Southwestern Cuisine. And, yes, it was.

Our son enjoyed the BBQ Chicken Taco and mister gardener tackled the Ribeye Burrito….both out of this world, they managed to say between bites. Unique, generous, and tasty.

On the other hand, I had possibly the best soup and definitely the most artistic soup I’ve ever been served. It was almost too pretty to eat. Take a look at the Painted Desert Soup, half red pepper and corn soup with ancho chile cream. We recommend this restaurant and anything served on the menu.

I really do think folks in New England eat a lot healthier than what sustained me in my southern upbringing. Sweet tea, something I had plenty of in SC, is not a thing up here.  Good thing, really. Lots of fried foods, like all those hush puppies or all the calories in those grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches I ordered a few times won’t be served around these parts. Collard greens was generally on the menu in SC, always infused with the tasty grease from bacon. Yep, bacon, butter, salt. Oh, and Hellmann’s REAL mayo. Lordy….

A New Year’s Day MUST

Black-eyed peas have been soaked overnight, organic collard greens washed and ready, and all the other ingredients for New Year’s Day are waiting to be prepped for a hearty soup tonight.

Growing up in the Tidewater area of Virginia, my family ate black-eyed peas and collard greens on a regular basis, but I don’t remember them on New Year’s Day. Did everyone in the South except our family eat collard greens and black-eyed peas the first day of each new year?  Is this a new-ish thing or not? I am a little superstitious so I follow along.

My mother always served black-eyed peas mixed with stewed tomatoes. Collard greens was always served alongside a cruet of vinegar that we splashed atop the hot greens. I can’t remember my mother ever combining the peas and collards as I am doing tonight… although better memories of a sibling might correct me!

New Year 2018

Last year I made the traditional Southern Hoppin’ John over rice. This year we are having soup based on a tasty recipe in the New York Times…. minus the ham hock.

Wealth should be breaking down the door!  And if I feel especially lucky after I dine tonight, I’ll be standing in line for the Powerball on Wednesday that has reached over 440 million buckaroos and growing.

collard greens 2018

Happy, Healthy, and Wealthy New Year wishes for all.

PS: It’s been 10 minutes and I’ve already been corrected by a sibling with a better memory than mine. We did eat both black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day. Lucky me!