Also on the menu (for a successful Week Three of house meals at the TenderNob Flat): Padrón peppers, cornbread, and collard greens. I like my cornbread with cooked grits, and I liked my grits gritty -- not those little globules of cornstarch you find in the diner, but the whole-corn variety, more like polenta. I simmer the grits while the beans simmer.
Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Soak 2 cups black-eyed peas in a large bowlful of water overnight. Early in the afternoon, drain the peas and put them in a large pot with more than twice their volume of water. Bring to a simmer. While they simmer, chop and add an onion or two, a carrot, a stalk of celery and some leaves, a pint of canned tomatoes*, and a quarter-cup of honey.
When the beans have softened a bit, add a smoked bony chunk of pork, whatever part of the pig it might be, and a small palmful of salt. I often divide my chunk into two pieces and freeze the other half for later use. It really doesn't take much for a savory hamminess to creep into the beans.
Then keep simmering. By 7:00 the beans ought to be nice and velvety-soft, the meat fallen from the bone, and the tomatoes a reddish mush. Add water as necessary. Pull out the meat, chop, and throw back in the soup. Serve it up, nice and hot.
*I believe in canned tomatoes. Even boughten ones, if you don't have your own. They're usually picked and packed in season wherever they're from -- making them higher quality than expensive out-of-season tomatoes. They're condensed and sturdy, so they require less space when shipped, and needn't be refrigerated during the process, reducing oil use and emissions all around. But better yet, can your own when they're in season.