January 1st, 2008


Ringing the New Year in with two recipes

First, a recipe for pumpkin drop cookies, which I made on Christmas Eve:

(This recipe is credited to Dorothy P Risker, whom I presume is a Kansan of my grandmother's acquaintance.)

1 cup pumpkin, 1 cup shortening (notes say "I use oleo")
1 C sugar (notes say "I use sucaryl + granulated)
1/2 C dates or raisins 1/2 C nuts
2 cups flour, 1 egg, 1 t soda
1 t vanilla, 1/2 t salt (if you use shortening - 1/4 t with oleo)
1 t baking powder
"Bake at 375 for 12 min on lightly greased pan."

(Hint from me: mix shortening and sugar, add eggs, then pumpkin, then vanilla. Mix dry ingredients, then add to wet, then add fruit and nuts.)

Second, the New Year's tradition, Hopping John, from the 1975 Joy of Cooking:

Bring to a boil in a large covered saucepan:
1 1/4 cups dry black eyed peas
4 C water
After boiling two minutes, remove pan from heat and let stand 1 hour. Add:
1 1/2 C chopped onions
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t crushed dried red pepper
1 minced clove garlic
1 bay leaf

After bringing to a boil, cover and simmer 1 hour,
stirring occasionally. Stir in :
8 oz coarsely chopped salt pork (I used a pack of pre-cut pancetta, and it was delicious.)

Simmer another hour, uncovered, stirring frequently. Remove the salt (don't bother if you use pancetta, leave it in!) and the bay leaf. Slightly mash the pea mixture.

Season to taste, serve with rice.
reading is fun-damental

The new year, a new goal, the new book list

First: Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris, does anyone have a copy they can lend me?

Second: Thanks to finishing Queueing for Beginners (a great gift about various quotidian elements of English culture, bathtubgin, thanks so much! - and, does anyone want to borrow it?), I managed a record breaking 37 books this year. I've, as usual, got about 8 books on the burner right now - Connie Willis' Water Witch, Robin McKinley's Dragon Haven, Proust's Sodom and Gomorrah, the second Jasper Fforde book, a few short story collections, etc. - so there's no telling what I'll finish first.

My goals for the year (as tracked in the sidebar of my journal) for reading will be to 1) finish the entirety of Remembrance of Things Past (need to buy "The Sweet Cheat Gone" and "Time Regained" though) and 2) to read 40 books. Thanks to the Proust, the other 37 books are likely to be somewhat light, but I've got four Charlaine Harris books waiting for me and every intention of buying the ones I didn't get before, so I've got a head start in that direction! Who'd think I'd develop a taste for fluffy detective novels?
Sea dragon

Some resolutions need more help than others

LORD will someone send the house cleaning fairies to pick this place up so I can ring in the new year with a clean house! I'll do my bit and eat the chocolates, but the rest of it is just too much to deal with!

(Everyone is sitting around geeking while the smothered chicken is cooking right now; dinner soon!)