Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 – Time for a Hard Reboot


Today, at my house, there will be black-eyed peas with cornbread for lunch.  It’s a tradition for many of us in the south.

During the Civil War era, black-eyed peas were considered trash food that was used to feed the livestock.  Then came General Sherman.  His march to the sea left a trail of destruction.  For many in the south, all that was left were those black-eyed peas and families felt lucky to have them.  As the south rebuilt after the war, black-eyed peas became a symbol of good luck and prosperity.  Some believe they represent coins.  Add in corn bread, a symbol of gold, and you’ve got a traditional New Year’s southern meal.

I didn’t have them last year.  Not making that mistake again!

I invited Bobby over for lunch and he will be my First-Footer.  Generally, the first-footer should be a tall dark-haired male who is not already in the house when midnight strikes. 

Okay, Man (check), Tall (check), Dark-haired (well in a year or so past dark-haired, so I’m pretty sure that counts).

I’m currently concentrating on all things involving good luck. 
I’m tired of the alternative.

One of my Christmas gifts is a rather unique book –

The Forme of Cury
(The Method of Cooking, cury from Middle French cuire: to cook) is an extensive, 14th-century collection of medieval English recipes. Although the original manuscript is lost, the text exists in nine manuscripts, the most famous in the form of a scroll with a headnote citing it as the work of "the chief Master Cooks of King Richard II". It is among the oldest extant English cookery books.

It's a really cool book though I have to think hard about the recipes and occasionally look up a word or 5.

Sawse Madame.

Take sawge. persel. ysope. and saueray. quinces. and peeres, garlek and Grapes. and fylle the gees þerwith. and sowe the hole þat no grece come out. and roost hem wel. and kepe the grece þat fallith þerof. take galytyne and grece and do in a possynet, whan the gees buth rosted ynouh; take an smyte hem on pecys. and þat tat is withinne and do it in a possynet and put þerinne wyne if it be to thyk. do þerto powdour of galyngale. powdour douce and salt and boyle the sawse and dresse þe Gees in disshes and lay þe sowe onoward.


Take sage, parsley, hyssop and savoury, quinces and pears, garlic and grapes, and stuff the geese with them. Sew the hole so that no grease comes out, and roast them well, and keep the dripping that falls from them. Take galyntyne [sauce or jelly of meat juices] and grease and add to a posset [milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced]; when the geese be roasted enough, take and smite [cut] them into pieces, and that which is within and add to a posset and put wine in it if it be too thick. Add powder of galingale, powder-douce [a mixture made with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, long pepper, and sugar] and salt, and boil the sauce and dress the geese in dishes and put the sauce on them.

Probably I won’t be making any of these recipes but I do enjoy reading cookbooks of all sorts.

I try to not make “resolutions” on New Years’.  Too easy for them to get lost in the shuffle as the year progresses.  I do make a tentative plan list.  So –

1 Exercise more regularly
2 Eat proper meals
3 Get a bunch of the plants currently in containers, into the ground
4 Get the rest of my ‘stuff’ stored in Ellen’s shop over here and where I can find it all
5 Work more on my genealogy (I like doing that but it gets pushed to the back often)
6 Think of interesting places to go and things to post here
7 Stay healthy and safe and mostly out of trouble!


1 Jan 2021


  1. I don't think you should avoid getting into trouble! Especially if it's the good kind.

    I love those old recipes, too, thanks so much for showing us this one. Once you fathom the words, they're actually well written. Not the oh just do it, you know how, of a lot of early instructions! Or the Elizabethan sheet music which gave the opening measure, then instructed to musicians to follow thus, then a final measure so they'd know where to land! I think you had to be ready for anything then. Not as unlike our times as we might think..

  2. I been watching British Bake Off lately. The contestants generally are given instructions or a recipe, but some things have no recipe because they should be "general knowledge". Keep calm and carry on. Happy new year.

  3. You didn't eat your black eyed peas on New Year's Day, 2020? OH, SO YOU'RE THE ONE TO BLAME FOR THE WHOLE DAMN YEAR, OKAY, I SEE!

    1. Uhmmm - nope. Pretty sure my not having black-eyed peas last year ONLY affected my year (which was bad enough). Not taking responsibility for the rest of the universes actions or lackthereof! 😜

  4. if I wasn't getting in trouble ...I'd really be in trouble.

  5. I had forgotten about the first footer tradition. I wonder how it works if the first footer doesn't happen until April? Because that will probably be the earliest we have any sort of company :)

  6. Does it give you the translation too? I love cookery books but more often these days just for reading rather than actually making anything.

    Happy New Year to you. I don't think I've ever had black-eyed peas. they don't look delicious.

    1. The book does not give translations - I had to search for it! I don't actually plan to try to make any of the recipes, just find them interesting. As for the black-eyed peas - well by themselves they're not delicious (probably why they were feed rather than food) but add in onions, celery, ham, herbs and they're ok. However in 1865 (when they became 'luck' food) there wasn't much to eat so, I suspect they were just fine.

  7. Well, your translation of that recipe was better than mine, it is interesting how different people talked that long ago, huh? *LOL*