Happy New Year!

Happy, Happy New Year!  Isn’t it so exciting?!  I love the newness of New Year’s Day.  It’s like life is fresh, clean and there is a new page to begin your history.  I truly count my blessings for 2011 and all that it brought to our lives.  Even the most heartbreaking of times and the struggles of caring for aging grandparents were a blessing, just as much as the baptism of my youngest daughter and engagement of our oldest daughter was.
I know 2012 holds many adventures and much excitement as God is already revealing His plans for us!
I can quite honestly think of no better way to welcome a New Year than with friends and family.  That is exactly what we did.  From a low-key evening on Saturday grilling hamburgers (yes, it was THAT warm in Alabama) to a true Southern feast with our friends on Sunday afternoon it was a memorable and special New Year.
Did you eat your black-eye peas and turnip greens for prosperity this year?  We never miss them here.
I love my greens with a little homemade pepper sauce!
And you truly know that New Year’s day dinner was a success when your husband makes the comment that he was afraid to lead the prayer at church last night because he was afraid he would “OINK” when he opened his mouth!  
{That’s my Audley.}
So what does our traditional Southern New Year’s day dinner consist of?  We could start with the pork tenderloin or hog jowl, but the turnip greens and black-eye peas were pretty fabulous.  We also had slaw, stewed potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, cheesy grits, cranberry relish, fresh sliced onion and topped everything off with peach cobbler cooked in a cast iron skillet.  If anyone left this house hungry it was their own fault!
With that much food, there is bound to be leftovers to share, so today we enjoyed another delicious meal as we watched much anticipated college bowl games.
I took the left-over pork tenderloin and made delicious sandwiches for us all.  You can top these so many ways from caramelized onions and a smear of Dijon mustard to MacKenzie’s favorite condiment …. ketchup.  I went a different direction with my sandwiches.  First up was spreading sweet onion jam on a Hawaiian sweet roll with crunchy, fresh lettuce.
The second sandwich I made was also on a Hawaiian sweet roll.  I added a few blue cheese crumbles (which are strong, so use sparingly) and topped the tenderloin with cranberry relish.
I love a good cranberry relish and have seen many variations of the recipe.  This was my own unique creation this year.  Infused with a little balsamic vinegar, it was the perfect companion to the tenderloin as well as the black-eye peas!
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 Granny Smith apples, cored
1 large navel orange
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Using a food processor, chop and blend together the first four ingredients.  If your orange is not very juicy, add a few tablespoons of orange juice to flavor.  Gradually add the sugar, vinegar and salt, blending well.  Taste for addition of sugar and/or salt.  The flavor is tart and intensifies as it sits.
Enjoy your first days of the year!

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Hmmmm, that cranberry relish, all that food, what a spread, Jen! I would have passed the hat. LOL! Are you all packed and nearly ready? I know it's a bittersweet time.


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