New Year Money Meal

I would do almost anything to improve my financial condition for the New Year. With wistful regret, the best I can manage in anticipation of 2014 is to fall back on family tradition by consuming fare that is said to induce prosperity. (It hasn’t worked lately… but I remain hopeful 🙂


Greens embody folding money. Black-eyed peas expand into coins.
Corn bread transforms to gold.

With reverent respect to ancestral heritage, I prepared a meal yesterday for visiting friends from Ghana (who speak Twi) that was worthy of Ikenga (the Igbo god of fortune and industry). Extending the blessing of a plate laden with “money makers,” I added Southern fried chicken, perfectly steamed white rice, grape tomato salad doused in vinaigrette and ginger spiced cranberries. After our meal, we succumbed to the “itis” — taking a nap on the sofa — before consuming our dessert of buttermilk pie and hot cocoa.

Tomorrow, I will enjoy the leftovers with the anticipatory relish of a better year to come!

In a wish that you experience a productive and prosperous New Year, I offer my gastronomic contribution to your health and wealth.

The following recipes are vegetarian style, however, I prefer seasoning both with smoked turkey butt (and a few chicken bouillon cubes). Three turkey butts per pot is a good amount. If you decide to do this, cook the turkey first (seasoned with the bouillon cubes), then chop it up and set it aside. Use the stock (with added water) to cook the beans/greens. When they are almost done, return the turkey meat to the pot, mix well and continue to cook for the final 15 minutes. All recipes serve 8.

Savory Green Mix (mustard & turnip)

Savory mustard & turnip greens


¼ cup oil (olive)
6 cups water
1 bunch mustard greens (chopped)
1 bunch turnip greens (chopped)
1 onion (sliced thin)
1 large turnip (unpeeled,cubed)



2 tbs vinegar (red wine)
2 tbs sugar (natural)
1 tbs garlic (crushed)
1 tbs pepper (crushed red)


USE a large pot
ADD oil, water & seasoning
ADD greens, onions & turnip
COOK until turnip is tender (about 45 minutes)

Blackeyed Peas

Blackeyed Peas


3 cups black eyed peas
6 cups water (add more if needed)
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup celery (with leaves, chopped)
4 plum tomatoes (diced)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)



1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper (crushed red)
1 tbs thyme


USE large pot
ADD all ingredients and seasoning
MIX well
COOK over medium heat until beans are tender (about 1 hour)
SERVE hot over steamed white rice

Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread Muffins


1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tbs sugar (white)
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk (buttermilk is better)
1 egg
1 tbs oil (vegetable)


MIX all ingredients together
POUR into greased muffin tins
BAKE @ 400 for about 30 minutes


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