Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Start it off right!

Happy New Year to all of you!
Hope it all went well for everyone!
Being party animals we stayed up until almost 10pm,
called it good, and climbed into bed.

As far as New Year’s traditions… we don’t have as many of those as we do for Christmas. Also, instead of traditions, they seem to be more like superstitions… and instead of several I have narrowed it down to well... pretty much one. That is the Hoppin’ John.

You see.. you simply must eat some Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day as it is supposed to bring you good luck in the coming year, in particular financial good luck.

That first picture was the Hoppin' John that we actually ate… the other ones I found elsewhere were just so pretty I had to add them. I need to work on my food pictures. These others are very gourmet looking for old fashioned southern cooking. And then check this one out!

Wowee!! Hoppin' John Stuffed Tomatoes!
Well, that is what it says but, well, I don't see any black eyed peas
sticking out of there but it is a great idea.

Hoppin’ John traditionally as far as I understand includes of course, black eyed peas and a ham hock. Yum. However, David is not much into the ham hock thing so I had to improvise a little. I had previously cooked a pork loin roast thingy to shred for other recipes. You see when there is a sale, I buy a larger pork roast and then shred it for BBQ sandwiches, Posole, or whatever else I can think to put it in, I cook the pork in the crockpot with only a small amount of liquid smoke (barely a capful… might measure out to be just a few drops actually), black pepper, and maybe garlic powder. Those are the only seasonings I put on it. I put the crockpot on low until the meat practically falls apart, and it turns out almost like kaluha pig. It's just not buried in the ground and served up by a bunch of pacific island men…

Hmm.. I dunno what happened there I was looking for a photo of kalua piggie.
Got sidetracked somehow for some reason.

Anyway the crockpot makes the pork very succulent and faintly smokey. I DO NOT add salt during the cooking process. I can add salt later to taste if necessary but the smoke flavoring makes it seem salty on it’s own. Anyway, the pork roast had a smokey flavor so I substituted that for the ham hock, tossed it into the black eyed pea mixture. Dished it up over rice, and it was just fine. Tasty even.

As I mentioned above, I was not super happy with my Hoppin’ John picture so I went surfing. I looked around the internet for information about good luck superstitions surrounding New Year’s Day and found out that in some places you are supposed to wear yellow underwear for good luck on New Year ’s Day.

That’s a new one on me; well actually not on me... and I wonder how that one got started.

These folks would have been pretty darn lucky had they worn the panties in the right area… I hope their good luck spell does not work backasswards now since that was how they wore those particular garments. I mean you are supposed to hang horseshoes in the right direction or the luck runs out... you are supposed to put furniture in the right spots in your home for Fung Shui or the chi won't flow right and neither will your luck. I dunno what may happen to these folks if their yellow panty spell backfires... Let's hope for their sake it does not matter.

Speaking of hexing, I did not find out about this yellow underwear custom until after New Year’s Day had already passed. I hope I did not jinx myself because I was sporting my customary winter red and not yellow on Thursday.

I have been pretty busy lately as the Postmaster broke her leg. Another PMR from a post office down the road and I have been covering for her while she is gone. My postmaster slipped on the ice and the result of that is a spiral fracture and all the tendon, ligament, stuff connecting her foot to her leg are all torn up. Ouch. Dang. I may be busy but not too busy for wandering around in the snow once in awhile with the beasts. For the most part they seem to be adapting well. Delta has a nice fur coat as it is and even Cosmo the Magnificent has decided to go the hobbit route and let the fur grow on his feet. Check out that back foot in particular!

Delta and I had an interesting discovery the other day.
It seems we are not alone when we go out to the wood pile.

Those are mine and Delta's footprints on the patio... along with someone else's teeny tiny feet.
Hmm. Michigan mice are tough little mice aren't they?
However, not as tough as Delta... when she finds them she pounces on them with her big ole hooves and then eats them after tossing them around a bit.
I will spare you those photos.

Speaking of ice… we keep getting all these winter storm warnings and we see the satellite pictures of these huge storms coming to dump feet of snow on us… then the day comes and goes and nothing. Well, not nothing. We get a few inches here and there, but certainly not the blizzard we expected. Even Carl the weatherman the other day said, “This is it... It is coming get ready!” But it never arrived. Our little town must be in it’s own little weather pocket.

Once again with the superstitions… I have not wanted to say too much about not waking up to 3 feet of snow because if I say it too much the hex will be on and sure enough. We won’t be able to get the door open. Knock on wood, salt over shoulder, lucky penny, horseshoe over the door...

Delta loves the snow. I really don’t mind it either. Cosmo the Magnificent tip-toes around in his fancy orange glowing coat and hobbit feet, and then there is David…

I am starting to think he needs one of those light visors like people in Alaska, Washington, and the Scandinavian countries use… not because he is depressed but because he is restless.

While we were sitting in our chairs, looking out over our gorgeous wintery lake view, and listening to Carl the weatherman the other morning David burst out, “Dammet! More snow!”

I blinked… And then slowly turned my head to look at this Midwestern raised, Pacific Northwest, Southern and Northern California, world traveling gypsy man and said… “Um. Honey? It's January in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You knew it was going to be snowy here before we moved… right?”

He smiled that smile I love and then just chuckled at himself. While he may have laughed, we both know that he has run out of big projects and is starting to find himself spinning as to what is next. Well, maybe I should not put it that way because we know what will probably be next as we have discussed it all at length. It just seems the time frame is moving up a bit because he is a man who likes a challenge and well… building the house was a challenge. It was something he had never done before, but to put it bluntly… it’s built.

So while we are just generally taking some time to relax, regroup, and recharge the batteries, he is beginning to want to stretch his wings again and it may just be the perfect time to participate in some of the different kinds of opportunities that seem to keep knocking on our door. One can only turn them down so many times before they stop knocking. So… while there has not been change in our plans, it only appears that we may be opening the door to one of those new opportunities sooner than later. Meanwhile, he will keep plugging away at the smaller projects he has on his list.

Good thing we had that Hoppin’ John.

As for me? For now I am just chillin’.
Heh heh. Literally.

I am soaking up this winter weather and enjoying ever bit of it.
Who knows what is coming down the road next. Pretty exciting innit?

And finally, a sunset... courtesy of the upper peninsula in Michigan.

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