Posted by: Hil | January 21, 2010

A New Year


As a belated New Year’s post, I thought it would be fitting to offer one of my favorites:  Hoppin’ John, which is a traditional good luck New Year’s dish in the South.  I make no claims as to my version’s authenticity, but I love it.  The basic idea is to cook up the trinity (onion, celery and red bell pepper) along with some ham or bacon, then add cooked black eyed peas and spices.  Salt and cayenne is all you need, but I like to use my favorite hot sauce.  Serve over rice.   If you want, you can also add a side of greens.  I make this all the time–it’s simple, full of flavor, and dirt cheap, which is just my speed these days. 

I’ve been thinking a fair amount lately about the future of this blog.  The fact of the matter is that money is tight for us right now, as it is for many people.  Looking over our budget, our grocery spending was the obvious place to cut back.

I have always budgeted more money on food than I needed to.  I like being able to splurge on things like fish and cheese and chocolate–they make eating and cooking more fun and reduce the likelihood that I will resort to convenience food out of sheer boredom.  When possible, I’ve also tried to shift my spending toward local and sustainable food sources.  Especially in the case of meat and dairy, this means spending more money.  At least for now, both of those things are going to need some rethinking.

I am confident that I can eat healthily on less money, but I have been concerned about the risk of monotony.  I certainly don’t want to get bored, and I don’t want to put readers though a litany of posts about leftover beans and rice.  This blog has always been my place to talk about the fun side of my eating and cooking.  But after thinking about it awhile, I started to think that maybe there are other people in my situation who wouldn’t mind reading about ways to make beans and rice interesting when that’s what needs to be on the menu for awhile.  So I’m going to go with the flow and see where the blogging spirits lead me.  Wish me luck!



  1. I’ll keep reading no matter what. I’m a poor grad student. And I spend way too much money on food. This will probably serve as inspiration!

  2. I am excited about reading your posts! I love eating beans and am really stuck for ideas on how to cook them!

  3. I STRONGLY support you blogging about those kinds of things- it’s funny, because I’m going to be blogging about budgeting with food more in the future, too. I’m still a student with just part time jobs so I need all the good ideas I can get. I love scoping out the deals, but at the same time I am willing to pay money for QUALITY food (not processed junk!), so I’d be really interested to see what kind of recipes and such you come up with.

    I hadn’t heard of the Hoppin’ John before. It sounds really tasty!

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