Washington column for Dec. 30

Start a New Year’s custom

Well, it’s the end of the year again. I can’t believe how fast it’s flown by.

Jan. 1 starts a year of new beginnings, new hopes and new adventures.

Do you have any New Year’s Day customs (other than watching football and parades)?Let’s focus on things that are supposed to bring you prosperity in the new year?

Here in the South, people eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. It’s supposed to bring you good luck. My mother-in-law, Anna Clatterbuck, always cooks them on New Year’s Day. It has been a tradition for her house as long as I can remember.

Here’s a black-eyed pea dish I’d like to share with you. It looks like a normal starch dish, but it’s delicious. It can be made using black-eyed peas, red lentils, or dried field peas, but the remaining ingredients are always constant:

1 cup dried black-eyed peas
4 cups water
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 pound of thick-sliced bacon, cut into half-inch length pieces
1 cup raw long grain rice
1 teaspoon of salt
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Put the peas and water in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook the peas, covered, until just barely tender, for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. You will have to add water during the cooking process. Watch that the peas do not dry out. Drain the peas, reserve the water, and return them to the kettle.

Saute the onion along with the bacon until the onion is clear. Add to the pot along with the rice and 2 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid. Add the seasonings. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Allow the dish to rest off the heat for 10 minutes before you lift the lid.

Enjoy with cornbread. Good luck!

Making a difference

With each new day of the coming month, we have tasks on a list we’re keeping for the coming year.

Keep in mind everyone as we head into 2011 that we may not be able to solve all the problems in the world but we sure can make a difference in each life that we touch.

All the best for everyone in the New Year!

Early Christmas present

An early Christmas present came for Maddy Harlow, 3, of Washington, and Elliot Hines, 4. Maddy was the lucky winner of the Dec. 21 drawing at the post office for a rocking horse, made by Bobby Brown, and Elliot was the lucky winner of the pillow chum.

Sympathy

Edgar H. Brenner, longtime owner of Shadow Ridge Farm on Persimmon Lane, Washington, died Dec. 19 at Georgetown University Hospital.

Funeral services was held at the Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel in Georgetown on Tuesday (Dec. 28).

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to Joshua Alther of Washington. His special day is today, Dec. 30.

Many thanks

This writer would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this column over the past year. Continue to call or email me with your news at 540-675-3338 or jan@rappnews.com.