There’s something about making New Year’s resolutions that just doesn’t work out for me. I know about setting goals. My training in Corporate America and experience as a business owner taught all about that. I can set short-term and long-term goals, measure and quantify them.
But, when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions, I fall short. Maybe the term “New Year’s resolution” isn’t recognized by my brain. So, I’m taking a different approach for the new year. I’m not thinking about resolutions.
At all. Ever.
My brain doesn’t know what to do with them anyway. Oh, I certainly have goals for the year, but we’re not using the “r” word.
My first goal for the New Year is to develop a list of things for which I’m grateful because I firmly believe that happiness starts with a grateful heart. After all, New Year’s Day is about more than a reason to eat Slow-Cooker Southern-style Blackeyed Peas.
Expressing gratitude lifts your spirits and improves your mood. It’s relatively easy to express gratitude when you’re feeling good, happy and upbeat. Try doing it when you’re miserable and sad. In fact, I urge you to do it when you’re miserable and sad. You’ll be amazed how quickly your mood changes.
My list is in no particular order. When it popped in my head, I typed it. All my thoughts are random. Don’t read too much into that.
Some of them will be obvious, some you may not understand. If you have questions about them, I’ll be happy to elaborate. I stopped at 100.
- a good night’s sleep
- citrus trees in my backyard yard
- my husband
- my children
- my son-in-law and daughter-in-law
- my grandchildren
- lavender-scented Epsom salts
- a big ice-cold glass of water
- cast iron skillets
- my home
- heritage recipes
- home-grown tomatoes
- long walk/runs (see #17)
- a good pair of athletic shoes (see #16)
- my dog
- gospel choirs
- the first cup of coffee in the morning
- cooling rains in the summer
- Geneva, AL
- answering the phone and hearing one of my children on the other end
- answering the phone and hearing one of my grandchildren on the other end
- being called “Nana”
- old friends
- new friends
- everyday blessings
- Syrup and Biscuits friends
- comments left by Syrup and Biscuits friends
- guests in our home
- red barns
- basset hounds (see #18)
- reliable transportation
- clean sheets
- good skin care products
- worn shoes
- roasted chicken
- vegetables/herbs/flowers in my kitchen garden
- Spanish moss draped on oak trees
- cool breezes
- hot showers
- fragrant blooms
- family celebrations
- front porches
- pretty new dishes
- pretty vintage dishes
- the window over my kitchen sink
- the Great Smoky Mountains
- the smell of bacon frying
- Colonial Williamsburg
- wood fires (controlled, of course)
- my birth certificate (proud to be an American)
- my voter registration card (made possible by #66)
- ripe peaches
- active duty and retired military personnel and their families (refer to #66 and #67)
- Southern peas
- my gift of cooking
- my gift of writing
- good health
- chap stick
- extended family
- bowls of hot soup
- words of encouragement from my mother (“You can do anything you set your mind to do.”)
- lessons of humility from my grandmother (“It ain’t all about you, Shug.”)
- good manners
- Tupelo honey
- ice-cold milk
- ibuprofen (see #16)
- conversations with my husband when I have his undivided attention
- homemade vanilla ice cream
- my hammock under the oak trees
- soft green grass
- historical sites
- Mobile, AL
- a nap
- vanilla extract
As you can see, I’m thankful for lots and lots of things. I’m blessed.
I wish you the best the new year has to offer. May we all have plenty of good tomatoes. Happy New Year!
Y’all come see us.
Slow-Cooker Southern-Style Blackeyed Peas
If you’re around a Southerner on New Year’s Day, chances are you’ll find a pot of blackeyed peas nearby. The folklore surrounding blackeyed peas is believed to date back to the Civil War. As General Sherman’s troups marched through the South and destroyed much of it, they would burn or steal a lot of the food but ignored blackeyed peas which were originally planted as a food source for livestock. The Southerners were left with a delicious, nutritious and plentiful food source. They felt plum lucky about that. Since that time, eating blackeyed peas on the first day of the New Year is considered good luck. Some accounts of the folklore state that you should eat 365 peas to solidify your luck. I don’t count my blackeyed peas. I just make sure I eat plenty.
1 pound dried blackeyed peas
1-2 smoked ham hocks
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups water or chicken stock
Soak dried peas in water overnight. You’ll need at least 3 times as much water as peas. The next morning, drain peas and discard water.
Add all ingredient to a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until the peas and ham hock are tender.
Remove ham pieces from the ham hock and place back in the blackeye peas.
Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Serve over rice. We prefer Basmati rice.
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- Slow-Cooker Southern-Style Blackeye Peas
- If you're around a Southerner on New Year's Day, chances are you'll find a pot of blackeye peas nearby. The folklore surrounding blackeye peas is believed to date back to the Civil War. As General Sherman's troups marched through the South and destroyed much of it, they would burn or steal a lot of the food but ignored blackeye peas which were originally planted as a food source for livestock. The Southerners were left with a delicious, nutritious and plentiful food source. They felt plum lucky about that. Since that time, eating blackeye peas on the first day of the New Year is considered good luck. Some accounts of the folklore state that you should eat 365 peas to solidify your luck. I don't count my blackeye peas. I just make sure I eat plenty.
- 1 pound dried blackeye peas
- 1-2 smoked ham hocks
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- Soak dried peas in water overnight. You'll need at least 3 times as much water as peas. The next morning, drain peas and discard water.
- All all ingredient to a slow-cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until the peas and ham hock are tender.
- Remove ham pieces from the ham hock and place back in the blackeye peas.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust.