Cooking with Kate: A Little Bit of Luck

Traditional Recipes for New Year's Lunch

It’s almost 2018—Happy New Year! Have you ever wondered why we eat black-eyed peas, cornbread, and collard greens or cabbage on New Year’s Day? Here in the South, this traditional New Year’s Day meal is thought to bring good luck, prosperity, and good health in the coming year! Regardless if you hold to this tradition or not, black-eyed peas and cornbread is a hearty and comforting meal after all the rich Christmas food. My family likes to prepare our peas with this delicious and spicy chowchow relish. If you missed any friends or neighbors on your Christmas list or need a quick thank you, a jar of this chowchow makes a fantastic gift!
Black Eyed Peas

The Rudasills’ Black-Eyed Peas

½ pound uncooked bacon, diced
½ stick salted butter
1 medium-large white onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ - 2 pounds shelled black-eyed peas, fresh or frozen
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Find a nearby Brookshire Brothers to pick up any ingredients you don't already have on hand!
    • In a large pot with a lid, sauté the bacon pieces over medium heat until the bacon grease begins to render and the bacon is barely cooked. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
    • Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the butter to the pot. Add the diced onion and garlic to the pot and sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the peas, cooked bacon, and chicken broth to the pot. Add enough water so that the peas are covered by about one inch of liquid.
    • Bring the peas to a low simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot halfway with the lid, and continue cooking for 1 to 1 ½ hours until the peas are soft, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
    • Taste the peas and season with freshly ground black pepper and salt, if needed. Serve warm with fresh cornbread and spicy chowchow!
 #TBT: Take a look back at Kate's tips and recipes for keeping the winter blues away during this holiday time!

Old Fashioned Spicy Chowchow Relish

¼ cup water
1 tablespoon salt
¾ cup white sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
¾ teaspoon dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoon mustard seed
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups green bell pepper, diced
2 cups sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 ½ cups firm green tomatoes, diced
2 cups sweet onion, diced
1 ½ cups green cabbage, diced
Don't forget to check your weekly ad for special savings on all these great ingredients!
    • In a large non-reactive pot, bring water, salt, sugar, garlic, and spices to a low simmer.
    • Add cider vinegar and bring to a gentle boil. Add all the diced vegetables and toss to coat vegetables in the spice liquid.
    • Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5-10 minutes until the vegetables become tender.
    • Transfer mixture to glass jars with lids and refrigerate. Chowchow will keep chilled for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Happy New Year to you and your family and many wishes for good luck, prosperity, and good health in 2018!

Happy New Years 

View other recipes from Brookshire Brothers Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill.
Kate Rudasill, Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers, has been in the food-service industry for the past 14 years. As a graduate of Texas A&M University, a student of The Texas Culinary Academy, and a Nacogdoches, Texas native, Kate grew up with Southern tradition in her blood which caused her to have a deep love for bringing people together with food.
Casual New Year's Eve Get-Together

Keep it SIMPLE! That’s our advice for celebrating the New Year.

You can make the night special without creating a fuss.

Start things popping with sparkling wine or champagne.  Pick up a small carton of fresh raspberries or cranberries. Drop one in the bottom of the champagne flute and you have a specialty drink!

To make things really sparkle – stir a little cranberry juice in the bubbly and call it a poinsettia!

New Years Toast



  • Less is MORE!  Ask everyone to bring a battery operated alarm clock (or set their cell phones with a fun ring tone for an alarm)   Place the clocks all over the party area or a collection on a mirrored tray as a centerpiece. You know what happens at midnight – you’ve got ‘live’ music just like Times Square.
  • Make a quick centerpiece by placing glittering ball ornaments in a wire basket or crystal bowl.

Fun Serving Ideas

  • Use hollowed-out colorful bell peppers, cabbage, squash or round bread loaves for fun and colorful containers to hold veggie dip.

  • Add a little swag to your glasses! Tie a little metallic curly ribbon to the stems!  A different color of ribbon for each guest can keep drinkware from being misplaced.

  • Bump up plain coffee served with dessert to an inviting espresso bar! Set up espresso carafes (regular and decaf) with extras for stir-ins and toppers.

Stir-Ins: flavored syrups, flavored creams or eggnog, cream and sugar

Toppers: whipped cream, ice-cream toppings, candy sprinkles, ground nutmeg or cinnamon

TOASTS (not so Trivial!)

Pour out some trivia to stir things up.

  • Did you know the name ‘champagne’ is copyrighted? Only wine produced in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne.
  • Everything is considered sparkling by using the method champenoise.
  • How many bubbles are in one bottle of champagne?  49 million
  • Under pressure – The pressure in a champagne bottle is three times higher than in an automobile tire.
  • Tub time!  American actress Marilyn Monroe is believed to have taken a champagne bath. That would require about 350 bottles of the good stuff!
  • How fast does a cork travel?  Try 38-40 miles per hour. It pops out as fast as 100 mph then slows down!