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New Year’s Day 2012

January 1, 2012

I woke up at 5 o’clock to a restless Jack Russell Terrier in the process of stealing the covers.  He scratched and tugged as he arranged the down comforter.  I pulled back and tried to get back to sleep.  He was unhappy with my active opposition, and hopped off to find a blanket which would offer less resistence.  Drifting back to sleep I vaguely recalled the New Year had crept into rural North Florida.

A few hours later the real start to the New Year arrived in the form of Mason who wanted to watch cartoons.  We were soon joined by Miss Julia (aka Honey Badger) who was hungry and wanted to be fed five minutes ago.  I fried her an egg and gave her some corn flakes to soothe her hunger.  The egg was not cooking fast enough, and she was not pleased with our corn flake offering.  Honey Badger squealed and tossed the cereal onto the floor.  She inhaled the fried egg.  She was still hungry and was placated by half a banana.

With breakfast in the books we turned our attention to the traditional New Year’s Day meal.  I soaked the black-eyed peas last night, and tossed them into a pot with two smoked turkey neck, salt and pepper.  While the peas simmered I washed the greens (twice) and the began the process of cutting them up.  I like to tear my greens down the spine, roll them up, and cut them in 1/2 inch strip.  They joined a ham hock in another pot and soon our kitchen smelled amazing.  The last thing I did was put the ham in a pan, pour a can of coke over it, wrap it in foil, and tossed it into a 325 degree oven.

Becky was up next and made a sweet potato cassarole.  She steamed the sweet taters in orange juice, mashed them and topped them with mini-marshmallows.  She also made a pecan pie.  The recipe she found called for orange zest to be added to the filling.  Interesting.

While everything cooked Mason and I played in the yard and took his race car for a drive.  We stopped and spoke with Mr. Wilder and ran into Michelle.  Mason was proud to show them his car and show them he could “park” it all on his own.  He then decided he didn’t want to drive anymore and would rather leave his car at the other end of the street.  He changed his stance after some gentler persuasion on my part.

By early afternoon dinner was ready to be served.  The ham, peas, collards, sweet taters and corn bread all turned out very well.  Not too shabby for a relocated Yankee.  Becky’s pecan pie also was amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  2012 is off to a tasty start and I hope it is a healthy and prosperous year for our family!

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