The last World Cuisine Wednesday of 2010 comes from right here in the U.S.A! ¬†Although I live in Maine, I‚Äôm actually a southern gal; ¬†today I am going to share a traditional New Years Eve recipe that comes straight from home.¬† Hoppin‚Äô John is the name of this dish, and it‚Äôs meant to bring those who eat it wealth and good luck in the year to come. The greens (you can use collard greens, mustard greens, kale, chard, etc.) represent wealth, and the peas symbolize peace.¬† Some people place pennies or other pieces of change under the serving vessels.¬† Others throw a dime in the pot so that the person who finds it in their bowl gets an extra helping of good luck during the next year.
Before digging in, it‚Äôs customary to say, ‚ÄúEat poor this day, eat rich the rest of the year.¬† Rice for riches and peas for peace.‚Äù
(The main ingredient is black-eyed peas, so if you‚Äôre not a fan of these ugly little beans, you might not want to try this particular recipe.¬† Also, please make sure to soak the dried beans the night before and sort through them to eliminate any debris or tiny pebbles that may have ended up in the bag.)
1 large ham hock
1 tbsp oil
1 lb black eyed peas, soaked overnight, drained
1 c chopped onion
1 bunch chopped collard greens
¬æ c chopped celery
¬Ω c chopped green pepper
1 qt chicken stock
3 c steamed white rice
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
In a large soup pot, heat oil and fry ham hock for a few minutes.¬† Make sure to cook on all sides.
Add green pepper, celery and onion; cook for 4 minutes.
Add chicken stock, greens and peas, bring to a gentle boil.¬† Reduce heat and simmer for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.¬† Add water if needed.
Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to your liking and serve over steamed rice.
Whether you are bringing in the New Year here in the States or in London, Rome, Paris ‚Äì wherever! ‚Äì 1-800-Fly-Europe wishes you a happy, healthy and safe 2011!
Okay, I‚Äôll admit it. I am a second hand store addict. No matter where I travel, I must go on a search for the best thrift shops around. I am never looking for one particular item, just something that catches my eye. It could be a Beatles record or a set of Tupperware salt and pepper shakers. Maybe a rusty, old metal fan or a pair of ladies‚Äô Sunday gloves will make the trip home with me. It‚Äôs always an adventure.
London is chock full of such emporiums for people who love this kind of shopping as much as I do. Here are just a few of the places in London that sell a variety of wonderful items that I didn‚Äôt even know I wanted.
Cenci ‚Äì Specializing in vintage clothing and accessories, Cenci offers the best of the best from the past 80 years. Whether you are searching for a hat from 1934, a scarf from the 70s or a belly shirt from 1993, Cenci is the place to find it!
Retro Clothing ‚Äì Located conveniently at Notting Hill Gate next to Portobello Road (which is my favorite place in London) is Retro Clothing. This store is one among many of Music & Goods Exchange Ltd. It offers a wide range of gently used clothing, accessories and jewelry for men and women.
Beyond Retro – Every style of clothing you could possibly want you will find in Beyond Retro. Top hats, sequined dresses, tooled leather bags, flowered swim caps‚Ä¶need I go on? With 2 stores in London, I‚Äôm in vintage heaven!
Happy Holidays!¬† As Christmas is THIS weekend, I thought a great recipe to share would be a fantastic mulled wine and rum punch served in all parts of Germany during the holiday season.¬† It is called Feuerzangenbowle, which translates to ‚ÄúFire Tongs Punch‚Äù.¬† Tradition dictates that this delicious punch be served during Christmas and New Year‚Äôs Eve.
2 bottles dry red or white wine
1 c granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lb sugar loaf
1 c heated dark rum (you can add more as needed)
1 bottle un-chilled champagne
PLEASE NOTE: This recipe requires the use of high-proof alcohol and an open flame. Use caution!
Heat the wine along with cinnamon sticks, fruits and cloves; do not bring to a boil.¬† Pour into heat-safe bowl, or a ‚Äúzuckerhut‚Äù which is similar to a fondue set, ¬†and stir in granulated sugar until dissolved.
Place a metal grate over the bowl and place sugar loaf on top of it.
Heat rum, do not boil.¬† Carefully ignite and pour over sugar.
When the sugar has melted into the wine, add champagne and serve!
Makes about 24 cups.
It‚Äôs not too late to book a cheap flight to Germany to bring in the New Year.¬† Otherwise, enjoy this drink when celebrating with your loved ones and have a safe, happy Christmas and New Years!
If you are pondering where to go for vacation in 2011, consider spending your spring break or summer vacation in Rome.¬† 1-800-Fly-Europe is offering special low prices for high season travel.
Plenty of activities await the visitor in Rome.¬† Don‚Äôt forget to go see one of The Eternal City’s most famous landmarks, the Colosseum with the newly opened hypogeum.¬† This is the first time in hundreds of years that this network of tunnels has been open to the public!¬† The Trevi Fountain, Vatican City and Spanish Steps are just a few of the other things you can‚Äôt miss while on vacation in Rome.
Find a cheap flight to Rome and book your airfare plus hotel reservation and/or car rental together as a one-charge package and save big! Additional Italian destinations are also available for these fantastic travel packages. Hurry and book, prices as good as these won‚Äôt last!