The Mid-Atlantic is definitely feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy and I hope we retain power long enough for me to post tonight’s menu. Though this is just a heavy rain and wind event here—HEAVY on both counts—it’s a damp and cold event that is reminiscent of a winter snowstorm. So, what better time to make a soothing vegetable stew? This menu gives you a choice: you can either use dried black-eyed peas that you have soaked overnight and cooked, or a canned variety. If using the latter, please look for a product that is created with just peas, water, and salt.

The word “dumplings” means many different things to as many cooks. Some prepare
them as almost pasta-like strips. Others drop biscuit-like clumps of dough into a boiling stew. My variation for tonight is different in many ways. First, the dough is made with a mixture of cheeses, cornmeal, and flour along with an egg. The dough is rolled into small marble-sized balls and simmered in a pan of water. When they have cooked, they are introduced to the stew at serving.

Stew of black-eyed peas, roasted red peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes served with spicy cornmeal dumplings of pepperjack and ricotta cheeses and a dollop of sour cream
Garden salad with cream dressing

Maple nut bars

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