Well, I love you too much to show you a picture of a pot of cooked black-eyed peas. You know, it just doesn’t “look” good to the modern eye. But our family genuinely loves black-eyed peas and cornbread. Really!
A word about beans and pork. Typically, most good folks associate beans with ham, bacon, salt pork, or what not. As I write this, I am licking my lips thinking about the ham and beans my mom makes. So tasty! But if I could just persuade you to set aside the pig momentarily, I could introduce you to an incredibly flavorful food–the legume! Beans have SO MUCH FLAVOR, even before you add ham. I love the flavor of beans. And to be honest, the flavor that I thought was “ham” really is the bean. You’ll have to try it to believe it.
When we make beans without ham, we enjoy a flavorful, high protein, high fiber, no cholesterol, inexpensive meal. It’s a staple meal for our week.
Here’s how: I rinse the black eyed peas, dump them in a big pot and cover with water. I try to give mine more than an hour to cook so that they will cook slowly and tenderly. I don’t add salt because it makes them tough–the salt comes at the end. If the pan gets low on water, I just add more. They’re done when they are tender. That’s it.
Drain them a little and serve at the table with salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, sour cream, spicy pepper, ranch dressing, or even horseradish. Bake up a lovely pan of cornbread and delight the kids with that old-fashioned treat, honey butter. If I have it, I like to serve with a simple salad.
The cost for this big meal that will feed 8 of us: less than $5 without salad, or $8 if we add a good salad
$1.50 for the black-eyed peas (they are sold cheaper than that)
.33 for one box of Jiffy cornbread mix or make your own cornbread from scratch–that’s what we do
cheese, condiments, what not–maybe $1?
honey butter–maybe $1.50? (whip up equal parts butter and honey, make a lot to avoid a fight
My recommendation for cornbread is the recipe on the package of Aunt Jemima yellow cornmeal. This recipe comes together in a snap!
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
2 to 4 T. sugar
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil (we always use olive oil)
Combine the dry ingredients, then add the milk, egg and oil. Pour batter into greased 9 x 9 square pan or muffin pans. Bake at 425 for 15 to 18 minutes.