Hoppin’ John, cabbage rolls, and memories

Happy New Year, everyone! Most of the day has involved taking down Christmas decorations, cooking, and watching one of my all-time favorite adventure movies, The Goonies (I really need to visit Astoria, Oregon).

So back to cooking. In order to add a pinch of luck to 2016, I decided to whip up some Hoppin’ John (Emeril Lagasse’s recipe with lots of GAHHLIC) and some cabbage rolls. I don’t really think black-eyed peas resemble coins, as tradition states, but I’ll eat of bowl of Hoppin’ John if it increases my chance of having a prosperous year! On the other hand, the pressure cooker broke today, so maybe I’m jinxed. 😉

Whenever I cook the peas and rice dish, I am reminded of my travels to Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; and other parts of America’s Lowcountry. I have always been fascinated with the Southeastern United States and researched the Gullah culture and language while studying Communications in college. Mom and I had taken Grandma with us to Charleston, and she became ill, which cut the trip short. I look forward to exploring more of the Carolinas soon.

Savannah was lovely. After graduating from college, rather than having a huge party, I decided I wanted to travel to Savannah. I had just read John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and watched the film, so I was itching to travel to this captivating land of gargantuan live oaks and unearthly charm.

We visited Savannah’s City Market, ate at Lady and Sons , and went on a ghost tour(could’ve lived without that one), but what I loved most about the trip was Forsyth Park. The trees are enchanting, and the idyllic fountain doesn’t disappoint.

Funny how food–its aroma, texture, and flavor–has the ability to transport me to the past. Maybe Hoppin’ John is my personal Ghost of Travels Past. It is certainly more delicious than a “bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato,” as Dickens wrote when Marley’s  ghost paid a visit to Mr. Scrooge.

May you be haunted by good memories in 2016!

Happy Trails,


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4 thoughts on “Hoppin’ John, cabbage rolls, and memories

    1. I have a soft spot for the Southern U.S. I believe you’d love it! Yes, the river cruise along the Savannah River was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Also, if you happen to visit The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee, you should visit the nearby Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The gardens are very beautiful there, too. Here is their website if you’d like to check it out: http://www.biltmore.com Happy New Year! 🙂


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