Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Peas

On Monday during my grocery shopping spree, I purchased "fresh" black-eyed peas" from the produce section of my store. (someone had already pre-soaked dried beans and they were now ready to be cooked)  I had never seen them packaged like this and thought it was a great idea for my New Year's day meal.  This morning after a late start - yea to sleeping in!! - I pulled out my crockpot and followed the directions on the back of the package:  add water, spices, ham and cook in a slow cooker for 3 - 4 hours.  Great!  They should be ready in time for dinner.  NOPE.  They were still hard - not as rocks -  uncooked or partially uncooked beans hard.  So, I turned up my crockpot to high thinking I would let it cook for a couple more hours and I would have them tomorrow.  In the meantime I pulled out a can of black-eyed peas - thank goodness I decided to buy a couple of spare cans just in case - and had me a great dinner of peas, green chicken tamale, chips and salsa and 12 grapes.  (It's a Mexican tradition for New Years)  A great meal, got my peas and grapes in and may have started a new tradition for myself. 

I trudge back upstairs to finish working on this wonderful Christmas Overnight Cinch Sack "recipe" from Moda Bake Shop.  I had made the tree last night and I wanted to finish the bag today.  Below is my version of the Cinch Sack.  I didn't have any rope/cording so I made my own straps from the lining fabric and looped it through the straps on the bottom - which I also made since I didn't have any ribbon that matched.  It is a really cute bag. 

The tree was a bit tedious since the strips are only 1/2" wide so it took a lot of them to cover the area.  It wasn't hard, just took some time.  Especially since I didn't want the strips to just go one direction.  I just pulled greens out  of my 1 1/2" strip box and cut them into thirds.  I thought I would have way too much, but only ended up have a few strips left to throw away.  (I was not going to keep 1/2" strips for the scrap bag)  Looking at the original bag's tree and my tree, I am thinking her strips are a lot wider than 1/2".   Oh, well, I like all the colors in my tree.   I may try it again with wider strips and see what that looks like.

I would really like to make a couple of these with initials on them, so I spent some time making an "N" that I liked and was scouting around for some home dec fabrics when I spotted this leftover piece of fleece.  I made a hat and scarf out of this several, several years ago (okay, probably 8 or 9 years) but I couldn't seem to throw this piece out. Now I am glad I had it.  I whipped up this smaller bag and used some ribbon - I cut off about 10 inches from the length of the ribbon thinking it was way too long, but it turned out I needed those inches since the ribbon is a bit short and pulls up the corner of the bag.   However, once you cinch it up, the ribbon is the right length.  It would be a great bag for a little girl and it didn't take me very long to make at all. 

Even though this project says it's a 60 minute project, the first one took me quite a bit longer than that to make.  The second one - without the tree and with ribbon straps - didn't take 60 minutes.   Once I had finished, I took some pictures and then remembered the peas.  Oh, no, they are probably way, way overcooked by now and will only be good for what they were first used for, cow feed.  I run  - well not exactly run with my knee still being messed up - down the stairs and into the kitchen to check the beans and guess what?  They are still a bit on the undercooked side.  It has been about 12 hours that they have been in the crockpot, most of those on high and they still weren't completely cooked.  They weren't even boiling!!  I guess the crockpot - even though it was hot, wasn't hot enough.  Well, that is the end of my 1980's  (could even be 90's) blue crockpot.  Even though I don't use it a lot, it has come in handy over the years.  Before I throw it out tomorrow, I may have to take it apart and put the pieces on e-bay.  The lid is in great shape and I even have a smaller lid from the previous crockpot that I broke.  I am sure those items are fetching a bundle on e-bay.  Hmm. I might really have to go look.  Goodnight.

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