Monday, January 01, 2007

Dancing on the tight rope

This has just been a lusciously lazy day, yet it's been productive enough to where I don't feel lazy and slothful. There's an old superstition that says you're supposed to do just a little work on New Year's Day. It's supposed to insure that you have work to do through the coming year, but not too much.

Growing up I thought this was specific to my family but it didn't take too long to find out that it's really an ancient tradition. We had to clean the house from top to bottom to start the New Year fresh. My house still wouldn't pass muster by my mother's standards, but I did have to give it a bit of a go with having all my laundry done and hung up, the floors swept clean and the kitchen looking less like a disaster area. It does feel better, and I feel like I've honored tradition.

I just had to add my own twist. Having time and energy today, I wanted to cook. Since the household is back down to two, I didn't want anything elaborate. There was no way I was going to do the traditional meal, but I couldn't walk away completely. Black eyed peas and greens are supposed to bring good luck and fortune, and I could certainly use both. So, I made Dixie Caviar, enough to provide me with lunches all week and Greek pinwheels. Both are simple, neither one blows my diet, and they let me keep my position as over the hill southern belle.

Dixie Caviar is so simple, and it's actually nutritious. You combine one can each of black eyed peas, black beans and white hominy. Add one chopped bell pepper, two chopped and seeded jalapenos, a cup of chopped tomatoes. (I use halved cherry tomatoes.) , a small bunch of green onions chopped, a small bunch of fresh cilantro (again chopped), a tablespoon of minced garlic and eight ounces of Italian dressing. I like to toss in some Tabasco as well. Let it sit a couple of hours to let the flavors blend and serve it on the chip of your choice. If you like top with a bit of sour cream. It makes enough to feed an army.

The Greek pinwheels took care of the greens. Combine 1/4 c. of cream cheese, 1/4 c. of sun dried tomato and basil feta cheese crumble and two oz. chopped black olives. Spread this mixture on a tortilla, top with baby spinach leaves, (I told you there were greens), roasted red pepper and shaved turkey. For the family vegetarian, I substituted smoked provolone for turkey. Roll up and slice into whatever size piece you like. These are good hot or cold.

So, I honored tradition today, but did it my way. (Cue The Sex Pistols for the soundtrack.) I stayed on the diet and ate well. I worked enough just to feel virtuous, and I drank a glass of pretty good Shiraz with my feet up on an ottoman. Today, this balance thing doesn't feel too hard.

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Blogger Lisa :-] said...

We actually ate much more fun and creative foods when we were dieting. You make food taste good with herbs and fat-free things like mustard, peppers, tasty vegetables... We got to where we hardly ate meat anymore, and we didn't really miss it.

That Dixie Caviar sounds great. I have to try it.

January 01, 2007 7:40 PM  
Blogger Robbie said...

Your Dixie Caviar sounds a lot like Texas Caviar except TC only has the black-eyed peas.

I feel the need for some good luck to come my way so I'm about to make the traditional peas w/salt pork and greens as soon as I wish you a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!!

January 01, 2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger gigi said...

I have never heard of this 'do a little work on New Year's Day' tradition.

I do not believe I care for it.


January 02, 2007 2:20 PM  
Blogger more cows than people said...

Does sermon study count as "a little work"? Cause the house is still a mess!

And I am too much of a Yankee to think I could stomach the Dixie Caviar, but the Greek Pinwheels-- now that has potential.

Thank God for the balance you found yesterday! Hope today was balanced too.

January 02, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger sunflowerkat119 said...

It all sounds good....except I have no idea what hominy is.

I think you found a pretty perfect way to start the new year.

January 09, 2007 6:34 AM  

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