Happy New Year 2011: Goals and Hoppin’ John


Happy New Year!! This time of year is always optimistic for most people.  Big dreams, big goals, and big hopes.  By year’s end, however, most dreams have been forgotten . . . or simply rehashed into a new hybrid of the same old thing.

Brigitte and I got together with Jason and Merry last night for fun and comedy at The Buford Variety Theater in nearby Buford, Georgia.  Here is the “moment”…

We shared our goals – and one thing became apparent from this exercise.  Many folks (myself included) tend to set general goals that we have no intention of executing.  These “resolutions” are more like “wishes” that have no clout.  Sound familiar?

Instead of making a goal like “Earn a million dollars,” why not set a goal to achieve the next level of success instead?   For a goal to have success, you must have “boots on the ground” – a solid commitment and plan – if you are to have any hope of fulfilling this short-term dream.  And most people forget:

“A Dream is a very lofty goal with the steps to it missing.” Fill in the steps and make your goals achievable for 2011.

Speaking of New Year’s trivia: There is a book published a while back called Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds where the author Frank Joseph brings to light some interesting facts.  Apparently there is an ancient ritual in Japan that is performed in homes at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  The head of the household walks barefoot, while dressed in his finest clothes, into each room and throws beans while saying “Out demons – in Luck!”

This ritual is similar to one performed in ancient Rome, where a part of the Roman Lemuria festival begins each May 9th.  The head of the household must walk backwards through each room, casting black beans behind him.  Evidently the beans are gifts to the lemures, or ghosts, who were supposed to have been sufficiently pacified by this humble offering to return to their underwater home, at least one more year.

Does this ritual harken back to the ancient land of Lemuria?

We have our own “bean ritual” in the south where the whole family is invited over for a simple meal:  Hoppin’ John. Below is my own recipe, similar to the one my Grandma made in New Year’s Day each year:


  • 1 cup black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 cup minced chicken
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt or tamari
  • 7 cups water

Soak the dry black-eyed peas overnight, or pressure cook them for 1 hour. Mix with all other ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and turn down heat to simmer.  Cook covered for 40 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for another 10-15 minutes.  Serves 10-12 people.

Happy New Year!!

Categories : Fun Stuff

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