Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#VeggieDag Thursday: Hoppin' John, and quick links to finish the year.

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on an animal-free diet, and environmental and ecological issues.

In informal congress with the good citizens of Ghent, Belgium, I publish VeggieDag Thursday (hard 'g') posts on occasional Thursdays. But, for this end-of-year-edition, it'll be today, Tuesday: the day before the day before New Year's Day.

In 2015, choose a plant-based diet. Love God's animals; don't eat them.



Forget champagne—in the Southern United States, Hoppin’ John is standard New Year’s fare. This simple, delicious dish of peas, pork and rice has graced holiday tables since the 1800s. Although it’s believed to bring luck and peace in the coming year to anyone who eats it, Hoppin’ John’s history is anything but peaceful.

Some say an old, hobbled man called Hoppin’ John became known for selling peas and rice on the streets of Charleston. Others say slave children hopped around the table in eager anticipation of the dish. Most food historians think the name derives from a French term for dried peas, “pois pigeons.”

It’s also uncertain why the dish became associated with New Year’s and good luck. The most likely story is that slaves would often have the period between Christmas and New Year’s off, since no crops were growing at that time. Hoppin’ John was, and still is, often eaten with collard greens, which can resemble paper money, and “golden” cornbread. The peas themselves represent coins.

For New Year's Day, spare the pig. Here's a recipe for a 'vegan' Hoppin’ John Bowl With Red Hot Tahini from vegan cookbook author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, at the Post Punk Kitchen.

In this vegan version, we’ll be using “ham mock” or “sham hock,” or whatever vegan pun you prefer, it’s just a little liquid smoke and bay leaves. Since I’m not really content with a few beans over rice, let’s turn the bean around and prepare a full-on bowl. Lots and lots of steamed greens, red rice and smoky beans, smothered in a sauce that keeps up the Southern Jewish theme; a simple concoction of tahini and Frank’s Red Hot! This stuff is irresistible: spicy, nutty, savory, tangy, garlicky bliss. And to cool things down, a little tomato parsley salad is a welcome burst of freshness.


Quick links for December 2014

  • 29 December 2014
    In advance of next year's U.N. conference on climate change, Pope Francis I of the Roman Catholic Church to issue encyclical on the dangers of climate change.
    An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.

    The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.

    The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.
    —Via The Guardian.

  • 29 December 2014
    A sister and brother dream of creating the perfect vegan ... Spam! Aubry Walch and Kale Walch (yes, that's his birth name) of The Herbivorous Butcher.
    —Via Public Media for North Texas (KERA).

  • 15 December 2014
    A 44-year-old northern white rhinoceros has died, of natural causes, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, in California. Only five survive worldwide.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 10 December 2014
    The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously(!) passed the Chesapeake Bay Accountability Act. The bill requires agencies to break out what they spend on the bay, and allows lawmakers and other officials to know exactly what's spent, so that they can then see if the effort is getting results.
    —Via Daily Press.

  • 4 December 2014
    There may be a world-wide olive oil shortage in 2015, caused, in part, by Italy's meager olive harvest in 2014. In Spain and Greece, as well, production was far below the 2013 harvest, and, in California, drought is pinching production.
    —Via Mother Jones.

  • 3 December 2014
    A new study, published in the Geophysical Research Letters, finds nothing to stop the West Antarctic Ice Sheet from melting into the sea. The region is shedding a "Mount Everest-sized" amount of ice every two years.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 28 November 2014
    Arrests were made at a Portland, Oregon vegan (?!) strip club after a melee on Black Friday (the shopping day after Thanksgiving). Really!
    —Via cached story (originally at That Oregon Life).
    —What is a 'vegan' strip club? Via New York Magazine.

  • 12 November 2014
    U.S. and China strike deal on carbon cuts, in push for global climate change pact in 2015. The United States pledges to cut its emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels, by 2025. China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, has agreed to cap its emissions for first time ever, pledging to cap its output by 2030, or earlier if possible, and to increase its use of energy from zero-emission sources to 20%, by 2030.
    —Via The Guardian.

  • 12 November 2014
    Hackers from China breached the US government's weather and weather satellite network in late September, forcing cybersecurity teams to seal off data vital to disaster planning, aviation, shipping and scores of other crucial uses.
    —Via Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post).

  • 10 November 2014
    Smithsonian study finds more and larger oxygen-depleted water ‘dead zones' forming annually since 1950s, likely because of climate change.
    —Via Washington Post.
  • Why the name VeggieDag Thursday? Here.
  • Read all the posts: here. Follow on Twitter with hashtag: #VeggieDag.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs, writers, and home-cooks welcomed! Contact me here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here ...