Skippin’ to My Lou for Hoppin’ John

1 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! This time last year, I was making C02 ice cream; now the scraps are a little bit simpler. In between seeing some fireworks on James Island and revisiting resolutions, I also snacked on some hoppin’ john, courtesy of the Hominy Grill. Hominy Grill was both my first meal back from Argentina and my last meal of 2012, and I couldn’t feel better about that. Their New Year’s hoppin’ john special, a tasty pea and rice staple, has some wonderful stories behind it, kind of like the past year does.

Hoppin’ John continues the Southern tradition of putting faith in food. Eating the dish on New Year’s Day brings luck in the coming year while also continuing a food culture that’s been around for ages. Most of the ingredients and preparations stem back to the time of triangular trade in the colonies. Black-eyed peas, the key ingredient, crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the slave trade, joining some other African-influenced flavors like cayenne pepper. The rice grew in Lowcountry paddies. In a brilliant fusion not to be repeated until Oreo cookies and peanut butter, cooks put the two together.

The goofy name comes from the kids hopping around the table waiting on a smoky and satisfying stew, and after trying it, they’re totally justified in acting like that.

While we might not feel like hopping after a night of toasts, drinks, ball drops and grand openings, Hoppin’ John just might be that extra push of good luck for the new year. I’m not saying it can bring invisibility or a win for the Oakland Athletics, but every bit counts. From a health standpoint, I’d like to learn how to cook it. The dish also has well over 10 amino acids, kickstarting any eating healthier resolutions. It might be the little bit of hope we could all use, whether for a healthier year or a historical one.

Optimism has never tasted so good.


One Response to “Skippin’ to My Lou for Hoppin’ John”


  1. New Year’s Day… Not bad! « MKG- Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts - January 1, 2013

    […] Skippin’ to My Lou for Hoppin’ John ( […]

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