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Who else has Hop John for New Years?

Dad used to make a version of Hop John for New Years (probably the only thing he liked about the South), and I have found few other people out West that do.

So, my question is; how may other CH'ers eat hop / hoppin John for New Years, and what do you put in yours?

I did some last year that had black eyed peas, smoked ham hocks, collard greens, rice, onion, and some spices. Came out pretty good.

As I understand it, the black eyed peas represent coins, and the greens folding money that will hopefully find you in the coming year if eaten on New Years.

Happy New Years from the desert outside of Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada !!!!

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  1. Thanks for reminding me to soak the black eyed peas. :)

    Black eyed peas and greens as side dishes are tradition in my family but not hoppin john. I don't think my Grandmother really cared for rice. I can't think of a single instance of her making it.

    Happy New Year from sunny Southern California!

    1. Black eyes for luck, collards for money. I should be really rich by now.

      I freeze fresh black eyes in summer, cooked with some onion and a ham hock. I saute the collards in butter, then simmer in broth til tender. I don't cook them together.

      Happy New Year from stunning Charleston, SC!

      11 Replies
      1. re: Sue in Mt P

        Black eyed peas and creamed cabbage is what my family eats down in TX.

        I cook the black eyed peas with some onion and either salt pork (preferable) or bacon. Cabbage gets boiled in salted water, drained and quickly braised with heavy cream and butter. If I have the ingredients on hand, I'll make up a batch of skillet cornbread to accompany.

        Happy New Year from warm-as-spring Austin, TX!

        1. re: Sue in Mt P

          Dad was stationed at Charleston from 59-65 while he was in the Air Force. I was born in Charleston, although Dad always said I was born on a Naval reservation -the Navy hospital served all of the branches. I was 4 months old when he got stationed at Travis AFB outside Fairfield CA, so I have no memories of Charleston.

          Being from Detroit Dad summed the South up as follows.

          Everything in the South bites, stings, scratches, is poisonous in one way or another, you have the heat, the humidity, and to top it all off, there are no single syllable words in the South =)

          I also have a rosin pot for rosin potatoes that they got back there that I need to try out.

          Someday I would like to take a trip back there, hopefully the chiggers won't find me.

          1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

            Hahahahaha! It's not that bad! We now have air conditioning. And bug repellent. Your Daddy was right about one thing: there are no one syllable words. Not a one.

            I don't know nuthin' 'bout no rosin potatoes. What's that?

            The food here is amazing. You owe it to yourself to visit your birthplace. In, ah, March!

            1. re: Sue in Mt P

              I just googled Rosin Potatoes, and it's actually potatoes cooked in rosin, or pitch. I've never heard of cooking with rosin. I've only ever seen it used on bows for stringed instruments.

              1. re: tracylee

                Sounds to me like it's what people did when they didn't have anything else! Like fried green tomatoes. Or hushpuppies :D

                1. re: tracylee

                  tracy, I used to step into 'it' with my ballet shoes

                  1. re: tracylee

                    Well, I'm finally back home after a fun weekend in Fabulous Las Vegas .

                    The rosin pot I have is a cast iron dutch oven type pot , but no lid. Dad said that you heat the rosin till it is liquid , then put the potatoes (taters for ya Southerners =) ) in the rosin. They sink to the bottom, and when they are done they float to the top. Remove them to cool, and crack them open to eat.

                2. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                  I just noticed the part about Travis! I was stationed there when my son was born (in '92) and we still live in the area.

                3. re: Sue in Mt P

                  I also use black eyed peas frozen in the summer...mine with some ham hock and hot sauce. The collards I get from my farmer are to die for!!!! I use a little smoked turkey wing and broth...mmmm

                  I also dont cook them together. Sometimes there is some rice you can throw on your plate if you want.And of course some fried hog jaw

                  Happy New Year from Murrells Inlet, SC!!!!

                4. My grandparents are from outside Memphis, and I'd always had black eyed peas and collard greens with smoked ham hocks (two separate dishes, not hoppin' john) without even knowing why!! I don't eat meat, but I carry on the tradition of black eyed peas with a slight change of chard instead of the collards/ham hock. Since any sautéed greens look like folded bills, I figured it's okay. :) Just don't eat lobster or chicken!! Apparently because lobsters move backward it could lead to setbacks. And since chickens scratch backwards it could lead to regret or dwelling on the past. Happy New Years everyone!

                  1. Mrs. O insists on the Hoppin' John, which this year will be meatless (no such thing as a faux ham hock!). That's okay, I'll just cook the onion and dried pepper in oil and stir the peas in for a bit before adding water, and they should be rich enough. The choucroute is what I insist on – two pots this time, one with real saucisse de Toulouse and one with Tofurkey "kielbasa" – and some boiled little potatoes. I've been making kraut with shredded fresh cabbage mixed in, which is really nice, and maybe a little greener!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Follow-up: cooked the peas as above, made them nice and soupy (just enough liquid for the peas to thicken nicely), then served them ladled over jasmine rice. It's very much better that way than combined in the serving dish, and this was the best I've ever done, even with no pig in it anywhere. We're having it tonight with some Brussels sprouts, steamed and then finished in a gratin pan with butter and parmesan.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Follow-up #2: someone truly smart suggested using smoked paprika if you're making a veggie version. Thanks! I chopped up a smallish onion and a poblano chile and cooked them to dead-soft in olive oil with a heaping teaspoon of the paprika, then stirred in two bags of frozen blackeyes, salt and water to cover. Then covered the pot and put it into a 275º oven for about two hours. Absolutely delicious with cornbread.

                      2. Oh yes, just put my BEP in to soak. I do a simple prep of sauteed onions, salt, pepper and smoked ham hocks, served over rice, with collards(prepared like the peas) and corn bread(gold to represent wealth)on the side. I am, after all, a card-carrying member of GRITS (Girls Raised in the South).

                        1. Five years ago, we made a big pot of Hoppin' John for a New Year's party, and it was a disaster. Hardly anyone sampled it, so we had to eat it every day for the next week (urk!) Discouraged by that experience, I didn't make it again until this very night, when I found a "Hoppin' John with Grits Polenta" recipe on the the Better Homes and Garden's website. I suppose I should call it "Hoppin' Jim", since I substituted black beans for black-eyed peas, and regular polenta for the hominy. It not only tasted much better but was also more colorful since it included carrots, peppers and corn along with the beans and rice. The recipe makes more servings than the listed 6, but we're going to be quite happy to reheat this tomorrow!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DonShirer

                            I can see your guests' point...it's damn tasty, but if you don't know that, Hoppin' John is not the most appealing dish to look at!

                          2. No Hoppin John here....Just black-eyed peas cooked with sauteed onion, a little garlic, S&P. Seasoned with Smoked Hog Jowl and Tasso...Sometimes a little bacon. Mustard greens with turnip roots this year and a big slab of hot buttered 'Kone Braid'..Pepper Sauce if ya wanna. ~~~ Save the rice for Red beans & Rice....

                            Happy New Year from Dixieland!!!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              ...I think we ought to all just come to your house, yours sounds delicious

                              our crazy neighbors down the street used to make this every NYE and always had the local NYE street party. we'd all show up of course and eat this + a million other things, clank pots and pans at midnight, good times remembered.

                            2. Every new year's eve. Black eye peas,coconut milk,okra,salted pigtails and a big scotch bonnet pepper.....

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: Duppie

                                Ooooo! I'm trying that! I'm thinking THIS Duppie must be from the islands!

                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                  You're thinking right. but we called it Pilau.

                                  1. re: Duppie

                                    Should I try a recipe for "cook up rice" I found?


                                    Also, do you have a link to a recipe like my Aunt Helen's yellow mustard colored pepper sauce? I have tried sooooo many, and none are right, but a bottled one from trinidad came close.

                                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                                      Use the cook up rice recipe but leave out the Casreep {if you can even find some},soy and beef. The thyme in the recipe is actually broad leaf thyme which I'm still trying to grow but standard thyme will suffice.To dial back the heat but still get the taste, float the whole pepper on top of rice and close cover and simmer on low.
                                      The basic yellow pepper sauce recipe is:
                                      2lbs scotch bonnet peppers.
                                      1 large Spanish onion.
                                      1small head of garlic.
                                      1cup white vinegar.
                                      1/4 cup yellow mustard.
                                      white sugar,salt to taste.
                                      blend and season to taste.
                                      There are two kinds of sauce in the Islands. Home and shop. Home is usually not cooked and have no oil or fillers so you really taste the fruitiness of the peppers, Shop is boiled and contains everything from green papaya to choyote for filler and some times contain mustard oil to dial up the heat and stretch/stabilize the sauce. To really get a unique taste,blend in cilantro stems or if you can find the broad leaf thyme,just 2 large leafs. Enjoy.

                                      1. re: Duppie

                                        Thanks soooooo much! Do you know the botanical name of the broadleaf thyme?

                                        NVM! Found it.

                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                          "Broad leaf thyme ( herb of a hundred names", Plecantranthus amboinicus, - oregano brujo, Indian borage, Mexican mint to name a few" ) was number 60 in this years Saveur 100.

                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                            I just recently read that,My mother had a 4 ft bush in our back yard and I had a cutting that I smuggled in and grew a huge plant in my apartment in NYC. Alas it died when I moved and I haven't been able to propagate another in awhile.

                                            1. re: Duppie

                                              I found a broadleaf thyme ("Cuban oregano" where I bought it) plant!


                                              Duppie, if you are seeing this, how much hot sauce do you think two pounds of scotch bonnets will make? I have about 1/2 pound of scotch bonnets left, so I think I will just try and reduce the recipe.

                                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                2 lbs usually yields me approximately 48 to 54 ounces of mother sauce, which is quite thick. I then blend as needed with the rest of ingredients as the year progresses and need arises.
                                                Thanks for the thyme resource, I'm preparing a big pot of peas and rice this year and have already shipped the salted pig tail in from Canada...the thyme will be very welcomed .

                                                1. re: Duppie

                                                  I made bammy and saltfish this morning. Husband and kids don't like ackee.

                                                  Still using my "broadleaf thyme", and hoping I can keep it alive until New Years....then I found this....

                                                  The confusion continues....


                                                  Going to try to root a piece, then make some "green seasoning" before the next freeze.

                                          2. re: Duppie

                                            Argh! Can't find pig tail! How can that be? This place that sells every part of the pig, including the blood, has no tail! (and there was a recipe for making salted pig tail in Lucky Peach). Oh well: I will use pig jowl (Guanciale?). Not pickled,but salted.

                                  2. Yes, I always have this on New Years Day. I cook my black eyed peas with onion and celery, a ham hock and lots of pepper. Serve with white rice and hot sauce. Greens (turnip this year) cooked with side meat and served with pepper vinegar. Corn bread to sop up the likker (juice from the greens)!

                                    Happy New Years from N.C.!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: meatn3

                                      It's really good for breakfast. Happy New Year, meatn3!

                                    2. My mother was from Alabama, so she made black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread for New Years. She didn't make Hoppin' John, but she knew what it was when I started making it. Lacking a family recipe, I took the one from an old edition of Joy of Cooking and tweaked it--more meat, and Tabasco, mainly. My black-eyed peas are soaking now. I'll also make cornbread, and pork chops for my husband (for whom it's not a proper dinner unless there is an actual slab of meat of some sort). No greens--never did warm up to those. I guess the peas and the cornbread will have to carry the load and bring me lots of coins and gold in the new year.

                                      Tomorrow at brunch, the southern theme continues. I bought enough country ham for the Hoppin' John, and to make ham biscuits, which will go with red-eye gravy and cheese grits. We'll eat that, and then settle in to watch Oregon whup Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

                                      Happy new year from sunny (at the moment, at least!) Seattle!!

                                      1. Black-eyed peas, ham hock, and turnip greens were our New Year's fare. But I tried a new thing this year since only 2 of us actually enjoy the peas. Finely dice and saute smoked bacon, garlic, celery, onion, bell pepper, and carrots. When softened add 1 quart tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth, about a cup of sliced radishes, 2 cans black-eyed peas, a couple of picked jalapenos, generous splash of balsamic vinegar, and a sprig of thyme. Finely chop your greens and add to soup just before serving. Even the pea haters love this soup!

                                        1. Blackeye peas ( fresh here in california), chopped celery,red onion and Serrano chili, dungeness crab meat with a olive oil, molasses, cider vinegar dressing. As a cold salad. Collards, corn bread on the side, but always some version of pork. Petit porcheta from Costco this year.

                                          I'm from New York, but moms family is from Nevis by way of Brooklyn, and dad from Huntsville, Al.


                                          1. Not Hoppin' John, but add me to the list of those who ate black eye peas today. I was short on time due to travels, so it was simple this year. Just a bag of frozen peas and a few handfuls of shredded kale in the same pot with water and ham. A quick batch of cornbread in the oven, and I'm ready for 2012!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                              I had to improvise as well. After a fun weekend at the beach we returned home last night and had not had our black eyed peas and collards and after searching the freezer didn't have a black eyed pea in the house

                                              So our hoppin john was made with French lentils, frozen spinach and rice. It actually came out quite good.

                                            2. Thanks for all of the replies. I didn't have any this year, so I am gonna have to just hope that living next to Las Vegas will be enough to get me through the year luck wise.

                                              Some of your recipes sound very tasty, and I will have to try them out.

                                              Hoping that 2012 is a fantastic year for all of ya.

                                              1. Oh, what a fun post. Yours sounds so good!! The ones I've had have ranged from full-on meaty to a more vegetarian option, which is the one I preferred even though I LOVE meat, especially pork. It may have been The Heretic's Version - I've seen SO many recipes - but what I liked about it was that it wasn't tossed together - the black-eyed peas were ladled over the hot rice and then on went a ladle of tomato, which I think is the controversial part, right? I really liked that dish, and the tradition attached to it was part of the attraction, too. Happy New Year, BGD.

                                                1. I'm one of the few southerners who can't stand Black Eyed Peas!

                                                  1. No Hoppin John for us (tried it and just okay, sorrys) -- but Texas Caviar. This year 10# of black eyed peas, always make a big garlicky batch because everyone enjoys it, have to bring some to friends, some to work. We generally overdose on it, then start craving again in summer so I do it again then. :)

                                                    Had some cabbage also, in a vinegar cole slaw just for us at home. :)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                      I've been doing "Texas Caviar" on NY using black eyed peas for the last few years. I even shred the raw collards into to "Texas Caviar" to make sure we get both the peas and greens. Sliced very thin the raw collards are quite tasty.

                                                      Today I decided to revert back to more basic Brased Black Eyed Peas and Collards dish I grew up with.

                                                    2. I didn't make it this year, but when I do, it's a fairly simple one.

                                                      I make it with fresh black-eye peas (always available around here during the Xmas/New Year's holidays), a large chopped white onion, long-grain white rice, & some type of cured country Virginia ham. There are many brands & many different cuts offered in the local supermarkets that are suitable - usually I just buy a small package of "biscuit cuts" or "seasoning pieces". Either one works great.

                                                      1. I had to improvise this year. I was on the road all day yesterday, and the store was sold out of frozen (and "fresh" pre-soaked) black eyed peas by the time I got there. I ended up with frozen crowder peas, and I figure that is close enough.

                                                        1. I make a variation in soup form. Basically with what your dad makes but in chicken broth with tomatoes and Cajun spices. Very good.