My Southern New Year DinnerHave to have hoppin' john which is basically black-eyed peas and and rice. It is a requirement to eat black-eyed peas on New Year's day for good luck throughout the year. Often, I have thought of opening a can to eat in July for a refresher of good luck. Next, we always have my husband's favorite meat, ham. We do not do the sugary spiral ham. We do the salty country ham. I pretty much overcook it on a low temperature and it comes out perfectly every time. Plus the whole house smells like ham all day!
The cornbread is a staple, but I make mine moist with a good splash of rosemary. My grandmother's cornbread was always crisp with cracklins of bacon speckling the outside crust. She had a special cast iron pan for making cornbread sticks. She would put the pan in the oven and let it get super hot. Then, she would pour in bacon grease and then the batter. It would all delightfully sizzle and almost bake on the spot. My rosemary cornbread is completely different, but it still reminds me of her. It makes me think how this is the first year I will be completely without her. Funny how a simple dinner can do that to a person.