Reading all of your blogs in the last week or so, I see that many of you have new year traditions, especially when it comes to food. Being that I had a sinus infection as we entered the new year, I did not eat any kind of a tradition, but I did think about my childhood.
I grew up in the Amana Colonies, in Iowa, and my father's parents lived in the same house with us. We were upstairs and they were downstairs. My Oma was a great baker. Traditionally, in Amana, on the 31st of December, the ladies were in the kitchens making a New Year's Pretzel. The Neu Jahr Bretzel was not the typical hard pretzel that you slather mustard on. You find those in Germany. These were specific to our villages and they were made with a sweet yeast dough. After mixing, the dough was raised and then broken into 3 or 4 individual pieces. Each piece was formed into a long rope and twisted into a pretzel shape. After baking, they were at least 10 to 12" in diameter. My Oma made the best frosting for them with an added touch. She would go the pharmacist in the next village and request a small bottle of rose water. Gently the drops of rose water were mixed into the powdered sugar icing and spread onto the pretzels. I can remember the taste to this very moment. These pretzels just begged to be dunked in a cup of coffee or hot cocoa.
I believe I attempted making pretzels about 30 years ago. They just weren't the same as I remembered and I never tried again. Nonetheless, I always think of my Oma and the fantastically delicious New Year's Pretzels she made every year.
Then I have been reading about black-eyed peas. Living in the South now, they are easy to find. So, today is January 6, I am feeling somewhat better, so tonight we are having "Black-Eyed Peas." A little late, but if there is still some luck to rub off, I'll take it.
original recipe from Bonnie at "From a Writer's Kitchen"
6 cups chicken stock
1 - 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 pound black eyed peas, looked over and rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced
8 ounces diced ham
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all in the slow cooker. Start on high for 30 minutes. Turn to low and simmer 6 to 8 hours.
Happy New Year again to all.
Addendum: I have to add another comment. The photo was taken before dinner. Now that we have eaten, this is absolutely delicious. It will definitely be made again, especially 1/1/12
Vegetable, White Bean, and Orzo Soup
1 hour ago