How do you make hoppin' john? This is how I've been making it since I lived in Queens and ate poor all year round, but other peoples' versions are different. Mine is much more flavorful than others I've tasted, but it looks kind of awful.
Hoppin' john: Sorry these measurements are so vague; this is just for technique, and for comparison's sake if anybody cares. Rinse and pick through 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas. Put in a pot with water to cover by several inches; bring to a boil, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse again. In a large pot, cook about 6 strips bacon until crisp; remove the bacon from the pot, set aside, and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add 1/2 chopped onion to the fat and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the black-eyed peas and enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until almost tender. Dump several handfuls of long-grain white rice into the pot with the black-eyed peas. Stir in several good pinches of salt and lots of black pepper. If there's enough water left to cook the rice, just bring it to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat to low; cook until the rice is done and all the water is absorbed. If not, pour in a little more water before adding the rice. Fluff everything up, taste for seasonings, then crumble the bacon into the pot and gently fold it into the black-eyed peas and rice. It reheats really well in the microwave (see photo above), or you can mold it, cold, into patties and pan-fry them. I think most people cook the peas and rice separately, which would result in a prettier, fluffier dish. But this is how I like it, sticking together in clumps.I used smoked pork neckbone in the greens instead of hocks, and I don't know why more people don't do this—the neckbone is so much meatier, the meat is easier to get off the bone, it's less fatty, and it's usually cheaper than hocks. You can use just a couple small pieces of the neckbone if you want.
The bug appears to have a bit of a cold, and her dad definitely has one, despite all the potlikker. I blame the plane ride from hell.