Hopping john casserole (from \"minnie pearl\")

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 cup Dried black-eyed peas
\N \N (or two 15 oz. cans)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 dash Of cayenne pepper
3 cups Cold water
1 cup Long-grain rice (uncooked)
2 cups Cold water
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Bacon drippings
4 slices Of bacon, cut in 1 inch strips
½ cup Chopped onion

If using dried peas, wash and discard broken or dark ones and any foreign matter. Place in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 3 cups of cold water. Cook over high heat about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat. Simmer about 2 hours or until soft but not mushy. When done, drain. Reserve liquid. If using canned peas, drain and reserve liquid.

In another saucepan, combine uncooked rice, 2 cups cold water, and salt. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Cover tightly. Simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is almost tender.

Meanwhile, in skillet, cook bacon pieces and onion until bacon is lightly brown and onion is transparent.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 1½ quart casserole dish.

Combine cooked, drained peas, ½ cup liquid from peas, and rice.

Pour cooked bacon, onion and bacon drippings over rice and peas.

Cover tightly. Bake about 20 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.

From "Minnie Pearl Cooks, " p. 162.

Note: It is an old Southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas/"hoppin' John" on New Years Day in order to have good luck for the whole year.

Some say you will have one day of good luck for each black-eyed pea eaten on New Year's Day.

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