New Year’s Day in the American South is celebrated in many families with Hoppin’ John, a stew made with black eyed peas. Some people add a penny or other small trinket to the beans when serving them. Whoever finds it is promised especially good luck in the new year. As many recipes can be found for Hoppin’ John as there are cooks who make it, so use this one as a foundation for creating your own version. Read more …
The Flowering Quince
This beautifully colored drink is named to honor the blossoming of quince, a harbinger of spring in Japan, China, and on the West Coast, where tall bundles of quince branches are sold in Chinese markets and at farmers’ markets to celebrate the season.
Made with SnoPac frozen strawberries, which are local and organic, and a spring-fresh Ataulfo mango (now plentiful in the produce department), this heady-but-light cocktail is perfect for sipping on the porch, glorying in the return of greenery and warm weather. The combination of strawberries and mango yields a beautiful coral color reminiscent of quince blossoms, while the mango gives the drink a silky mouth feel.
Makes 1 serving (can be scaled up indefinitely).
6 oz. dry Champagne or extra-dry prosecco
1 handful of small frozen strawberries
1 small Ataulfo mango
Fresh spearmint leaves
• Pour wine into the beaker of a blender; add handful of frozen berries. (This doesn’t work with blackberries or raspberries because of their prominent seeds.).
• Peel the mango and slice it into the beaker.
• Purée until smooth.
• Pour into a tall glass and garnish with mint leaves.
A classic Italian cocktail
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 lb fresh peaches, peeled & pitted
1 bottle Prosecco or other sparkling white wine
Mint, for garnish
To make simple syrup for the Bellini, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. You can make the simple syrup days in advance.
Place the peaches in a blender with 1/4 cup of the simple syrup mixture. Puree until completely smooth.
To serve, pour the puree about a quarter of the way up a champagne glass and top it off with Prosecco and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Need help peeling peaches?
Just drop them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then in ice water for 30 seconds. The peels should come right off!