Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
Willa Cather (1873 - 1947), My Antonia
It's been a long, stale winter here in Oklahoma and that's why I decided to head south and make a couple dishes from my childhood:
Black-Eyed Peas and Jambalaya.
For the black-eyed peas, I sautéed garlic, celery, jalapeno and onion in a little butter, then added a good bit of seasoned salt, some thyme and freshly ground pepper and let it simmer for several hours until the black-eyed peas were nice and tender. My family likes to top it off with a little more jalapeno and some hot sauce.
The Jambalaya was adapted from a Southern Living recipe and it turned out savory and delicious. My 21 year old son ate 3 bowls and added extra hot sauce to his.
There are so many great recipes heralding from the South, and every time I make one of them, or enjoy a nice glass of iced tea, I think of my two grandmothers and their southern heritage and love of food. It makes me happy to know that I can pass this on to my kids. It's like having a great big warm hug in a bowl.