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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
January 2, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 2, 1997

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Food, Health & Fitness Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, January 2, 1997 25 Alcohol Alternatives: Celebrate the Holidays with these fun Drinks Toasting the holidays or ringing in the New Year doesn't have to mean drinking alcoholic beverages. Eating black-eyed peas before noon brings luck on New Year's Day by Mary Ann McNeiU Gazette Staff THE SOUTH--No region in America has more pic- turesque names for their foods than the South, and many of them are even baffling to Southerners. To help those interested in learning where these names and concoc- tions came from, Rosa Tusa, a food editor and photographer, and Sam C. Rawls, a cartoonist, wrote a funny little paperback book almost thirty years ago called, "True Grits: Every- thing you want to know about Southern cook- ing from beaten biscuits to pot likker." They reveal the legend of black-eyed peas and New Year's Day luck with the following: Hopping John is a dish from Civil War days, still popular today. After the war, South- erners found their livestock and barnyard poul- try had either been taken over by the troops or let loose to wander away. Crops and gardens had been raided or trampled. Crops were needed that could be planted cheaply and provide nourishing food in a short time. Peas and,beans became staples. Hopping John is made with dried black- eyed peas--also known as cornfield, cow or field peas. After meat was less scarce, ham hocks or other parts of the hog were added to the dish. Black-eyed peas (preferably with hog jowl) must be eated before noon on New Year's Day to insure good luck for the coming year. The legend told is that a farmer, pursued by bad luck and poor health, with no food on New Year's Day, set out with his hunting dog i Hopping John 1868 1 pound dried black-eyed pea 1/2 pound salt pork or bacon, sliced 1 teaspoon Tabasco 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 medium onions, chopped 2 tablespoons bacon fat or lard 1 cup uncooked long grain rice Cover peas with 3 pints cold water in large kettle. Soak overnight. Add salt pork, Tabasco and salt. Cover and cook over low heat about 30 minutes. Cook onions in bacon fat until yellow and add to peas with rice and 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Cook until rice is tender and water absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring from time to time. Makes 8 cups. for some game. Instead of rabbit, the dog returned carrying a basket of hocks, jowls and black-eyed peas. The combination was cooked into a hearty meal. Next morning the farmer's health improved and he produced a record crop of sweet potatoes that year. i Here is the version of Hoppin' John given in the best-selling 1986 cookbook,"White Trash Cooking," by Ernest Matthew Mickler: Hoppin ' John 1 cup raw cowpeas 4 cups water 2 teaspoons salt 1 cup raw rice 4 slices bacon fried with | medium onion, chopped Boil peas in salted water until tender. Add peas and lcup of the pea liquid to rice, bacon (with grease) and onion. Put in rice steamer or double-boiler and cook for I hour or until rice is thoroughly done. Black-eyed peas or canned peas will work also if they're already cooked. ii Bake a honey of a bread As the holidays approach, the pace of life seems to beat a darker-colored honey, such as avocado or wild- flower, into softened butter. No matter how you slice it, Honey-Cranberry Oat Bread is sure to be a hit with the holiday crowd. For additional recipes for busy cooks, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to National Honey Board, "Squeezed foi" Time, Honey?," Dept. HCOB, 390 Lashley Street, Longmont, CO 80501-6045: . Honey-Cranberry Oat Bread 3/4 cup honey ::: 21/3 eggsCUp vegetable oil : i '; 112 cup milk 2-1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup quick-cooking rolled Oats 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder ii 112 teaspoon salt  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 cups flesh or frozen cranberrfes 1 cup chopped nuts '  Combine honey, oil, eggs and milk in large wl; mix well. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, bakipipowder, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl; mix welt.!Stir into honey mixture. Fold in cranberries and nuts, $n into two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch greased and floured loaf pans. ' Bake in preheated 350"F oven 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes'out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks. ' Makes 2 loaves. to your an- family fa- Made with zen cran- sweetened honey, it's make as it is Try it sliced topped with whipped cream specta quicken. There's shopping to do, parties to plan, family and friends to visit and, of course, holiday treats to make. Since few people have time for elaborate baking, festive quick breads are the answer. Holiday quick breads use basic ingredients, are easy to prepare and satisfy that craving for fresh, homemade comfort food. One taste and you'll add Honey-Cranberry Oat Bread nual list of vorites. fresh or fro- berries and with golden as quick to delicious. and toasted, honey- butter or cheese for a family also makes a great por- table snack for cold- weather fun or a thoughtful hostess gift. It's easy to add the delicious flavor ofh0ney to all your holiday recipes. Since honey has a higher fructose con- tent than sugar, start by substituting honey for half the sweetener called for in a recipe, then adjust to taste. And remember, honey ranges from light to dark, with its flavor ranging from mild to robust, depending on the floral source of the variety you choose. Have fun and experiment using different honey varieties. Try a lighter- colored honey, such as clover or orange blossom, for Honey-Cranberry Oat Bread. For a distinctive topping, i  //i f