West Marin Food & Farm Tours
Spring in Umbria! April 2013

Happy New Year!

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It is time once again for renewal and reflection on the year we just left and looking forward with great anticipation for the year ahead! We have had a very wet season so far this year but almost magically, the rain has departed, the sky is blue and the sun is shining on this New Year's Day. Having spent more than twenty years in the southeast, Atlanta, Ga I have become fond of the tradition of having black-eyed peas & collard greens on New Year's Day. This southern tradition is believed to bring good luck & prosperity in the new year. Call it my "Southern Exposure." I am not superstitious by nature but, I find this tradition hard to ignore first, because I do believe in hope and second, because it is just darn good eat'n!

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I like to make mine first by rendering some bacon or other forms of pork fat, second, adding aromatic vegetables or mirepoix and sweating them, then a little garlic, fresh or dried bay leaf, some smoked paprika, tomato paste, a little jarred tomato sauce from the summer, a little cider vinegar, some chicken stock, crushed chiles & salt. I have become absolutely thrilled cooking this type of stew or soup in a pressure cooker. I have a Nesco brand pressure cooker that I use quite often for everything from braises, to soups, stews and other concoctions. While there is a little prep time involved with the necessary steps to layer in the flavor, you will be pleased in a mere hour later how delicious this will be. Not to mention, it is a pretty healthy dish that is rich in fiber & nutrients.

This is just the right dish to eat on a chilly new year's day while watching all the fantastic bowl games!

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2013! 

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