Peas, peas, and more peas can be used in a recipe for peas with ham hocks

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We have recipes perfect for your Independence Day celebration! One is Barbecue Ribs from Emily Meggett’s book, Gullah Geechee Home Cooking. These ribs are done in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to fire up a grill for these fall-off-the-bone ribs.

I am going to try Marvin Woods’ potato salad this Independence Day, because just looking at the recipe, it looks mighty good. He says, “Potato salad is one of the most-requested dishes for potluck dinners and other large gatherings. A couple of professional tips for you when making your potato salad: Try using new potatoes, because they tend to hold their shape better than most other potatoes. After you boil the potatoes, let them cool all the way down; the potatoes will absorb too much dressing if they are hot.”

If you like peas, Emily Meggett has a recipe for you in her book, Gullah Geechee Home Cooking.  She says, “Many people are familiar with black-eyed peas, but not crowder peas. While crowder peas come from the same family as black-eyed peas, crowder peas are slightly bigger, and they don’t have that notorious black eye. Crowder peas are Black folks’ food – they sustained enslaved people in the South, and they sustained us growing up. We learned how to bring out the best of their flavor – the saltiness of pork mixes well with the starchiness of the peas – and thankfully, those techniques can be applied to whichever peas you have available. Because crowder peas are hard to find outside of the Lowcountry, you can use black-eyed peas or cowpeas for this recipe. Whichever you choose, make sure to wash your peas thoroughly to remove dirt and stones, and purchase the best ham hocks you can, as they give a salty and meaty flavor that you just can’t resist.”

Fresh Garden Relish from the Progressive Farmer’s SOUTHERN Cookbook is superb over turnip greens and blackeyed peas. I can see it on my table for Independence Day because it is made from wonderfully fresh vegetables.

For the times you want to spoil yourself and everybody else around you, here is Butter-Pecan Ice Cream! This is my very favorite flavor, and it might be yours, too! Tammy Sewell of Fort Benning, Georgia, contributed this wonderful recipe to the 1996 annual publication of Southern Living’s Favorites and it is perfect for our Independence Day celebrations!

EMILY MEGGETT’S

BARBECUE RIBS AND SAUCE

Recipe from Gullah Geechee Home Cooking by Emily Meggett

2 slabs baby back ribs

1 cup chopped celery

1 large onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons seasoning salt, to taste

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 lemon, sliced

1) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. 2) In large, heavy-bottomed pot, precook the ribs with the celery, onion, bell pepper, seasoning salt, and vinegar in 2 quarts of water for 35 to 45 minutes over medium heat, until the bones are just slightly peeking out, and the meat easily slides or peels off the bone. Remove the ribs from the stock and save 1-1/2 cups of the liquid. Save the chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper. Set aside. 3) Place the ribs in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan, uncovered. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour off the grease. (Leave the oven on.) With a fork, mash the celery, onion, and bell pepper. 4) In a medium saucepan, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mashed vegetables, and reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, pour over the cooked ribs. Place the lemon slices on top of the ribs. Cover. Return the ribs to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

POTATO SALAD

The New Low-Country Cooking

by Marvin Woods

3 pounds red bliss potatoes, cut    into 1/2-inch cubes

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1/2 cup sweet pickle relish

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon-style

   mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water just until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool completely. Place the cooled potatoes in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. Taste and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Serve chilled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

EMILY MEGGETT’S

CROWDER PEAS, BLACK-EYED PEAS, OR COWPEAS

Recipe from Gullah Geechee Home Cooking by Emily Meggett

2 14-ounce smoked ham hocks    sliced into 1-inch pieces

1 quart fresh or dried crowder    peas, black-eyed peas, or

   cowpeas

1-1/2 tablespoons salt, plus    more if needed

1-1/2 teaspoons pepper, plus more    if needed

1) In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine 3 quarts water and ham hock chunks. Cook over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes. 2) While the ham hocks are cooking, wash the peas thoroughly, removing any dirt or stones. About 30 minutes into cooking the ham hocks, add the peas to the pot, bring to a boil, and boil for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. If using fresh peas cook for about 1-1/2 hours. If using dried peas, cook for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. 3) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes: The liquid in the finished pot of peas should be a gravy consistency, not watery.

When working with peas/beans, canned peas/beans require the least amount of cooking time, about 15 minutes, followed by green or frozen peas/beans, which require 45 minutes. Fresh-from-the-garden peas need 1-1/2 hours.

Dried peas/beans require the longest cooking time, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Bring them to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until done. Add water and cook longer as needed.

FRESH GARDEN RELISH ON

TURNIP GREENS

Recipe from The Progressive

Farmer’s SOUTHERN Cookbook

3 tomatoes, diced

1 cup chopped celery

1 medium cucumber, peeled,    sliced, and finely chopped

3 tablespoons finely chopped    

   onion

1 medium-sized green pepper,    chopped

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons French dressing

2 tablespoons vinegar

Mix and chill.

Note: Birmingham serves superb food, many old as well as new recipes. Our favorite there (and we never saw it served elsewhere) is just plain turnip greens topped off by a fresh garden relish. These quantities are for six portions.

TAMMY SEWELL’S

BUTTER-PECAN ICE CREAM

Recipe from 1996 Southern Living All-Time Favorites

1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 cups chopped pecans

7 cups milk, divided

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened

   condensed milk

2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 (5.1-ounce) package

   vanilla instant pudding mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; add pecans, and cook, stir-ring constantly, 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain and set aside. 2) Combine 1 cup milk and next 3 ingredients in saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture coats back of a spoon. Cool. Stir in remaining 6 cups milk, pudding mix, and vanilla; add pecans, stir-ring well. 3) Pour mixture into freezer container of a 5-quart hand turned or electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. 4) Pack freezer with additional ice and rock salt; let stand 1 hour before serving. Yield: 1 gallon.