Have a Fabulous New Year with Okie Hoppin’ John

It’s a longstanding belief, at least around these parts, that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is good luck for the coming year. So, every year I make my version of Hoppin’ John. It’s a bit of a nuisance, but so worth it.

Okie Hoppin’ John

2 packages wild rice, cooked as directed

1 package Kielbasa sausage, cut into chunks

12 ounces Velveeta cheese

1 small carton sour cream

1 can chicken broth, divided

1 can black olives, sliced or chopped

1 tablespoon butter or cooking oil

1 large sweet onion or 2 bunches green onions, chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 can black eyed peas with jalapeños, including juice

1 can black eyed peas with bacon, including juice

6-10 drops hot sauce, optional

Cook rice according to directions. While rice is cooking, sauté onions and garlic in butter or cooking oil.

Mix remaining ingredients except chicken broth in a slow cooker, adding the onions and garlic when they are ready. Add rice after cooking. Add about 1/2 can of chicken broth so the sauce is slightly runny and let it all sit in slow cooker on medium for at least an hour before serving. If sauce thickens too much, add another splash of chicken broth.

Notes: For added heat, add jalapeños or extra hot pepper sauce. Dish is also delicious with cooked bacon crumbled in it.

This dish is a wonderful way to start the New Year. It’s a southern superstition that eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is good luck for the coming year. However, many people don’t particularly enjoy black eyed peas on their own. In this Hoppin’ John, even the pickiest eaters will usually gobble them up.

FamilyHolidayFavorites10-15This recipe is from Family Holiday Favorites, only $2.99 on Amazon. The e-book contains 50 tried-and-true recipes gathered from several different families. The book is illustrated to maintain a festive appeal and has a linked table of contents for frustration-free navigation. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WDHL20

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Vintage Recipes: Hot Chocolate Drinks from Hershey’s

I have a 1979 edition Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook and it is chock-full of chocolately deliciousness!

With winter officially here, I thought it would be nice to share a few of the hot drink recipes. Cold weather makes me think of hot chocolate as well as football games and falling leaves. It’s nice to have several easy, delicious recipes to heat up a chilly evening.

Favorite Hot Cocoa

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa

½ cup sugar

Dash of salt

1/3 cup hot water

1 quart milk

¾ teaspoon vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and blend in water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk, stir and heat to serving temperature but do not boil. Remove from heat then add vanilla. Beat with a mixer until foamy. Makes about 5 servings.

For a single serving, combine 1 tablespoon cocoa, 2 tablespoons sugar, a dash of salt and 1 tablespoon of water. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. Heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally.

Spiced Hot Cocoa

¼ cup cocoa

1/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup hot water

3 ½ cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of ground cloves

Combine cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a saucepan then blend in hot water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk and heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Remove from heat then add vanilla and cloves. Beat with mixer until foamy. Serve hot. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Makes 5 servings.

Hurry-Up Hot Cocoa

1 tablespoon cocoa

2 tablespoons sugar

Dash salt

Hot milk

1/8 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Combine cocoa, sugar and salt in a cup. Stir in hot milk to fill cup. Add vanilla and stir until blended.

Variations

Canadian Cocoa: Add 1/8 teaspoon maple extract.

Irish Mint: add 1/8 teaspoon pure mint and peppermint extract.

Orange Cocoa Cappuccino: Add 1/8 teaspoon pure orange extract.

Swiss Mocha: Add ½ teaspoon instant coffee granules.

Viennese Cocoa: Add a dash of ground cinnamon and a dash of ground nutmeg.

FamilyHolidayFavorites10-15For more delicious wintery treats, check out Family Holiday Favorites, only $2.99 on Amazon, here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WDHL20.

It features 50 tried-and-true show stopping recipes split into sweet and savory dishes with a splash of holiday illustrations to keep spirits high.

A Christmas Letter from Roy D. Mercer

Fishin' TalesRoy is so excited about his new e-book that he’s been on a writing spree. Once I explained the difference between a Kindle and kindling, he’s taken to e-books like a natural.

He wrote me a sweet e-mail letter this morning and I thought I’d share it with our blog visitors because it includes one of his favorite fishing baits. That Roy is such an original. It’s nice to hear that his family, including his wife Sharon Gene, son Raymond, and step-daughter Lateesha are all getting in the holiday spirit. Christmas does bring families closer together, especially when they live in a trailer.

Anyway, here’s Roy’s letter.

Sharon Gene’s Christmas gift came in the mail this mornin’. I ordered her a Ray Stevens video tape. I had to check it to be sure it’s not the one with “I Spotted Elvis in a UFO.” She got that one last year from that feller Yurgen, the foreign exchange student from Sweden she saved from heat prostration. He passed out down at the lake and Sharon Gene knelt down next to him and gave him shade til he cooled off.

 I tell you what, I think she’s gained weight since then. Hell, last week she crossed her legs while she was getting’ a thigh wrap and broke the therapist/s arm in two places.

 I’m so glad I ordered the right video. That’s the last of my Christmas shoppin’ except for getting’ Raymond’s waders out of the lay-a-way and pickin’ up Lateesha’s chastity belt from the foundry. We’re tryin’ to stop her from bringin’ joy to the world, one man at a time.

 She come in the other night with so many hickeys on her she looked like she got caught under the mistletoe at the Arkansas athletic dorm.

 Even with all the Season’s Greasins, I been out fishin’ a couple times this week. I been down to Onus Redding’s covered dock on the bay. Been tryin’ to get Raymond to come with me, but he’s so hard headed, he won’t do what a 1,000 people tell him to do.

 I caught a couple of bass on my lucky bait. Well, when it’s this cold, I don’t even use a hook. I just tie a little candy cane on my line after I’ve sucked a sharp point on the short end. Works perdy good. That’s how I caught Sharon Gene. The one that won’t go away.

 Huh-oh. She heard her name and she’s comin’ this way. She’s got that look in her eye like she wants a little Christmas goose after the kids leave the house. I hope she don’t climb onto my lap. This bar stool ain’t gonna hold both of us!

For more of Roy’s family tales and fishing tips, check out his brand spankin’ new e-book at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIH65L8.

 

 

Roy D. Mercer’s “Fishin’ Tales” Now Available on Amazon

Fishin' TalesLakehouse Publishing is proud to announce our first humor book is now available on Amazon. The paperback version is in production and scheduled for release January 1, 2013.

The e-book on Amazon is only $7.99 and available for instant download here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIH65L8k

The e-book will soon be available at all major e-book retail sites.

Roy D. Mercer is best known for his colorful phone calls and threats of ass whuppin’s and pop knots, but people who really know Roy realize there’s more to him than misunderstandings. There’s family and there’s fishing.

Few people are aware that Roy keeps a journal filled with observations about his family and his fishing trips. This book shares his tales about life in the double wide with his wife Sharon Gene, son Raymond, and step-daughter Lateesha. And of course, Lateesha’s dog, Bon Jovi.

As Roy says, “There always seems to be a ruckus goin’ around here. There was a time when I could settle ‘em down. But then the druggist started gettin’ suspicious at how much Nyquil we’s buyin’.”

It’s always something at the Mercer trailer.

“We just got back from a funeral. Sharon Gene’s cousin, Kelly Gene. His poor mamma was a dislessic and she always thought she named him after the dancer. Died of lime disease. Not from a tick bite, though. No, Kelly Gene was down in Quarez on a Tequila bender and as near as them Mexican doctors could tell, he sucked so many limes, he puckered his windpipe shut and assphixinated. Bad case of lime disease,” said Roy.

There are plenty of homemaking and child rearing tidbits here, but don’t miss out on all of Roy’s great fishing tips and tricks.

Roy doesn’t hold with store-bought bait. He prefers to make his own and he gives out some of the recipes in this book, like:

“Went out there and caught two or three perdy good-sized bass. Done it on some bait I made out of out-of-date biscuit dough, Cocoa Pebbles, and the run-off oil from a can of tuna fish.” You just can’t buy that kind of wisdom at the bait shop.

He also tells of some of his favorite fishing holes while recounting fishing trips with his many fishing buddies.

“Back on Tuesday, me and Raymond went and trickled off down the right leg of Wet Trouser Creek. If you get one of them lake and stream maps, it shows up on that thing as three or four little dark spots that trails off just south of the Tee-Tee River,” Roy says. “I did alright, but Raymond didn’t catch a thing. I told him it was ‘cause of the way he was workin’ his worm. You know usually you want to work a worm slowly back towards you, but for some reason, down on wet trouser creek, to catch anything you got to really give your worm a good shakin’.”

So dive on into Roy’s world and learn the true country way to reel in baskets of fish and deal with family trials and tribulations.

 

About the Author

boots (2)It’s long been legend that Roy D. Mercer was conceived under a shower of welding sparks and now, it seems that legend may actually be fact. Here’s the story as told in Roy’s own words.

“Mama and Daddy was working on the Hoover Dam back in the late ‘20s or early ‘30s. Daddy was a welder and Mama hauled them weldin’ rods. You know there’s just something about two folks up on a scaffolding by theyselves. It’s hot and they got them big weldin’ goggles on and such, and nature just took its course.

“They was a team, welder and weld-rod holder. Course she held more than just his weld-rod from what I understand. I come out nine months later with a full-growed set a teeth and doubled up fists.”

 

 

Roy D. Mercer’s Fishin’ Tales, Coming Soon!

Fishin' TalesLakehouse Publishing is proud to announce the impending release of our first humor book.

Roy D. Mercer’s Fishin’ Tales (and the ones that got away) will be available in e-book and paperback very soon. Here’s a peek at the cover and a quick look at the author.

Roy D. Mercer is best known for his colorful phone calls and threats of ass whuppin’s and pop knots, but people who really know Roy realize there’s more to him than misunderstandings. There’s family and there’s fishing.

Few people are aware that Roy keeps a journal filled with observations about his family and his fishing trips. This book shares his tales about life in the double wide with his wife Sharon Gene, son Raymond, and step-daughter Lateesha. And of course, Lateesha’s dog, Bon Jovi.

As Roy says, “There always seems to be a ruckus goin’ around here. There was a time when I could settle ‘em down. But then the druggist started gettin’ suspiscious at how much Nyquil we’s buyin’.”

It’s always something at the Mercer trailer.

“We just got back from a funeral. Sharon Gene’s cousin, Kelly Gene. His poor mamma was a dislessic and she always thought she named him after the dancer. Died of lime disease. Not from a tick bite, though. No, Kelly Gene was down in Quarez on a Tequila bender and as near as them Mexican doctors could tell, he sucked so many limes, he puckered his windpipe shut and assphixinated. Bad case of lime disease,” said Roy.

There are plenty of homemaking and child rearing tidbits here, but don’t miss out on all of Roy’s great fishing tips and tricks.

Roy doesn’t hold with store-bought bait. He prefers to make his own and he gives out some of the recipes in this book, like:

“Went out there and caught two or three perdy good-sized bass. Done it on some bait I made out of out-of-date biscuit dough, Cocoa Pebbles, and the run-off oil from a can of tuna fish.” You just can’t buy that kind of wisdom at the bait shop.

He also tells of some of his favorite fishing holes while recounting fishing trips with his many fishing buddies.

“Back on Tuesday, me and Raymond went and trickled off down the right leg of Wet Trouser Creek. If you get one of them lake and stream maps, it shows up on that thing as three or four little dark spots that trails off just south of the Tee-Tee River,” Roy says. “I did alright, but Raymond didn’t catch a thing. I told him it was ‘cause of the way he was workin’ his worm. You know usually you want to work a worm slowly back towards you, but for some reason, down on wet trouser creek, to catch anything you got to really give your worm a good shakin’.”

So dive on into Roy’s world and learn the true country way to reel in baskets of fish and deal with family trials and tribulations.

 

About the Author

boots (2)It’s long been legend that Roy D. Mercer was conceived under a shower of welding sparks and now, it seems that legend may actually be fact. Here’s the story as told in Roy’s own words.

“Mama and Daddy was working on the Hoover Dam back in the late ‘20s or early ‘30s. Daddy was a welder and Mama hauled them weldin’ rods. You know there’s just something about two folks up on a scaffolding by theyselves. It’s hot and they got them big weldin’ goggles on and such, and nature just took its course.

Woodpecker Adventure

While out exploring at the lake today, I spotted a woodpecker with a bright red head. I stopped to get pictures of him and discovered that woodpeckers store food. I never knew that. Squirrels and ants are famous for storing food for winter, but I never heard such tales about birds.

This guy was carefully hopping along the roof line of a trailer, searching for the perfect spot to hide his pecan. Once he selected a spot, he turned around and tapped the nut up under the shingles until you could no longer see it. He flew back to a nearby tree to get another nut once he had this one hidden.

Knowing what he was doing, I then really looked at the edge of the roof. It had several small humps in it that just have to be pecan stashes. The roof was new this summer, so it’s not warped.

Such an industrious bird! I snapped several pictures of his project to share in the gallery at the top of this post.