The Bento Will Rise Again

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Here in the Southland (“that-y’all-and-shut-my-mouth-land”), we have a time-honored tradition of eating black-eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread on New Year’s Day to symbolize prosperity in the coming year. I always have the best of intentions to make a variation of this combination, but usually by the end of December I’m tearing up, trying desperately to keep my eyes open so I can actually make it to midnight. I typically pass out around 10:50pm and am then mocked relentlessly for the next week by my loving boyfriend.

However, I broke tradition in 2016! I made it to 12:15am after many cups of cold brew coffee that afternoon, and on New Year’s Day I finally made a big ol’ pot of Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Andouille & Collards. I had some smoked andouille from Patak, the amazing Bavarian butcher in Austell, in my freezer that I was saving for gumbo, but I figured I could always make another trip to get more. The frozen bag of black-eyed peas I bought was also two pounds, so I’m sure they’ll make another appearance on here soon enough.

The soup is quite hearty, filling, and spicier than I thought it would be. The slice of gluten free Trader Joe’s cornbread I baked last night helped provide some contrasting sweetness as well as sopping power. I used less broth than the recipe called for because I wanted more substance than abundance. I have learned my lesson with cooking bulk stuff. Leftovers are fun for about two days, but by the third you end up staring at it, waiting for it to disappear on its own. Unless it’s tikka masala.

Until next time! Hope everybody has a great year with happy bellies!