The Free Motion Quilting Project: New Years Party Meal

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Party Meal

Now it's time for Recipe Thursday! Josh and I are both tag teaming this post as I wanted to share a bit of my plan for New Years and the new traditions we started just last year.

First off, thank you all so much for your supportive, loving comments to yesterday's post. I feel so enormously blessed that I have this avenue to express myself and this wonderful bunch of people to share my life with.

Reading through some of the comments, and remembering what my massage therapist said once about the power of burning negative thoughts, I've decided to hold a very special New Years Eve celebration.

My absolute favorite thing to do on this special night of the year is to go on a date with Josh - at home! We don't leave the house, we just wait until James is in bed, then we make a fantastic dinner together, chatting and enjoying ourselves more than we would be able to in a restaurant.

This year I asked Josh to make sure we have wood for a fire as well. After dinner I plan to write out all 12 dark rings onto paper, then burn each of them to let them go forever.

So that's my plan for New Years Eve, so what about New Years Day?

That's where Josh comes in...

Josh here. For New Years day we like to serve this meal along with something green, like collards or spinach. This year my mom is making some really good Brussel sprouts with bacon and Leah is going to throw together a spinach leaf salad.

It's a really simple meal and there's no need to go overboard on this. Just throw it together in the morning for an excellent New Years lunch.

Hoppin' John

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse.
Prep Time: 15 min
Inactive Prep Time: --
Cook Time: 50 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 10 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 cups steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Leah and Josh Day


  1. Sounds like a delicious recipe. I will have to copy it since I like black eyed peas. Your planned day sounds great. Actually burning the pieces of paper will symbolically remove the hurt that the negative words have on you and your future. Have a happy and healthy New Year.

  2. Leah,

    Ah, the release of burning our negative thoughts! Good for you--I will be praying for healing for you that can come from that.

    I've also found burning bad thoughts to be a good release. My firstborn daughter was diagnosed with a severe disability that surfaced after her first birthday. It was devastating and I wrote pages and pages of angry, bitter questions (and accusations) to God. How could He allow such a horrible thing to happen to a child He had made? It made me feel better to write my anger out...

    ...but even better to come to a place where I could burn them. Burning those spiral notebooks was letting go of those accusations, of accepting that His plan is perfect, of releasing the need for answers. I've never regretted burning those notebooks...there is no way to go back now and relive those early painful days. Everything is forward now, and that's a good thing.

    Blessings and prayers for healing. Happy quilting and have a wonderful New Year's celebration!

  3. i make hoppin john every nyd!! yummm love it over rice with alittle hot sauce..Happy New Year Leah!

  4. Leah and Josh, have a wonderful and revitalizing new years! Every year my husband and I spend new years eve and day with a couple we have known long before we got married. Now we bring our kids as well. We play board games, eat very well, and just enjoy company. Low key, just good food and good company makes the new years just right.


  5. Dear Leah,
    I wish you to have a much better year than 2010, to have the mind, the soul and the body in a such good shape that next year, this time, to be happy that the most important things for you and yours came true!
    And I wish you as well, a year full with reasons for more happy thoughts than bad ones!
    And a Thank You from my heart for your work which help me a lot to do mine!
    A very Happy New Year!

  6. Thanks for the recipe, Josh. I made it and it was great! Blessings to both of you in the New Year!


Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at