Who stole my Christmas vacation? While I understand that parents of school-aged children everywhere might disagree, for me, this break flew by. My kids have Monday off as well, but I’m due in the office as usual, making tomorrow my last official day off. I plan to celebrate by spending the day in yoga pants doing as little productive activity as possible. I’m officially observing the entire Christmas season this year and will be taking down the decorations after Epiphany. This both gives me an excuse not to take care of it this weekend and the opportunity for my parents to see my house decorated for the season, something that’s never happened before. They arrive Friday to take care of the kids while Adventure Guy and I cheer on our team in The Cotton Bowl.
While I have high apirations for a lazy day tomorrow, some might say that’s an apt description of today’s activities as well. We slept in (again!) then drove Soccer Boy to the mall so we could take advantage of a big New Year’s Day sale. Keeping him in clothes and shoes remains quite a challenge thanks to his seemingly unending growth spurt. We cleaned up on some nice khaki pants and an assortment of long and short sleeve shirts. Adventure Guy and I weren’t quite so lucky in our efforts and left empty-handed this year–giving me the opportunity to do a little online shopping later this afternoon. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new pair of boots in a couple of days!
Much to the chagrin of a few family members, the next “must do” for the day involved preparing the traditional black-eyed peas for dinner. I remembered to soak them overnight last night, so I put them on to cook mid-afternoon, adding sausage and spices later in the evening. It turned out quite well, but DD1 in particular remains unimpressed. I did, however, require her and her boyfriend to sample a few to ensure their continued good luck in 2011, garnering the following compliment from said boyfriend, “Well, I still don’t really like black-eyed peas, but these are the best I’ve ever had.” What more could I ask for?
I did change up a few things this year from my traditional recipe. Since I planned the black-eyed peas to serve as the main dish (over rice to make it officially Hoppin John), I added slices of pepper sausage to replace the bacon I usually use. I also dropped the jalapeno and added a little tarragon and some red pepper flakes to the spice list in the first recipe. The pepper sausage added a nice spice of its own to the dish, and the grease left from cooking it before adding it to the peas provided even more flavor to the sautéed veggies.
Here’s how it turned out…