Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ColRebCooks: Eat Your Black-eyed Peas Casserole recipe

Eat Your Black-eyed Peas Casserole

Serves 8 easily, or freeze half and have two large meals for family of four

Here’s a recipe that I made up after looking at several similar ideas online. It worked pretty well. I failed to take a photo, but it looks decent.

If possible you should buy the hamburger meat off the old meat rack for less than $2.50 per pound; buy the rice in 25-pound bags and the rice cost is about 20 cents; stock up on the black-eyed peas the week after New Year’s and you can get them for as low as 25 cents a bag, or 12.5 cents for the half-bag this recipe uses; buy the Cream of Chicken soup in the weeks before Thanksgiving or Christmas for 60- to 75-cents per can; stock up on store-brand cheese when it costs $3 a pound or less; buy the diced tomatoes on sale for 50 cents. My total meal cost was about $7 for eight very large servings.

1 lb. Hamburger meat
1 onion and half green pepper, or use one-half to one bag of frozen seasoning mix
Plenty of garlic and other seasonings to taste, added to the meat and onions while browning
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
2 cups cooked rice
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup
12 to 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup water from the black-eyed pea pot, or tap water

I’m on a semi-bland diet these days, but this dish would likely be improved by substituting a can (or maybe two!) of Rotel for the tomatoes. Alternatively you can add jalapenos and other Mexican seasonings.

Also, I think this casserole might be improved with the addition of 3 cups of cooked squash, which I will do next time.


1. Brown the hamburger meat and then add the green pepper and onion. Cook until onions are soft, then scoop meat into a 9x13 casserole dish, draining the fat.

2. Blend in the cream of chicken soup while the meat is hot, then add the black-eyed peas and rice (and squash if you decide to use it). Add all but 4 oz. of the cheese and mix well. Add just a little water from the pea pot or tap to make sure the mixture is barely soupy so the rice doesn’t get dried out.

3. Sprinkle the remaining four ounces of cheese over the top.

4. Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cheese starts to brown on top.

The black-eyed pea taste does get lost a little bit in this casserole, but it might be a great way to get kids to eat vegetables. Also, even though it only had one pound of hamburger meat, it tasted very meaty. Legumes and rice for a perfect protein, so this is a reasonably healthy dish even though it does have a good bit of fat from the cheese.

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Confederate letter home has not an ounce of hate, only a large measure of love

Maj. Fred. C. C. Karr
I haven't blogged much lately, but I found a copy of this letter home written by my great-great-grandfather, Maj. Frederick Christopher Columbus Karr, and I thought I would share it. The letter has lots of sentence fragments and uses few paragraphs, so I have broken it up for readability. I have included some of the original misspellings, while correcting others. In some cases I simply could not make out the letters that he used, so he may or may not have spelled the word correctly.

This letter has some very interesting historical information, but I will reserve comment for a later time. I only note that you will not find an ounce of hate. Only a large measure of love.

Hd Qr 32nd Miss Regt
Tullahoma Tenn March 18th 1863

Dear Lucy,

I siese on this oportunity of sending you a few lines knowing you will be glad to hear from me at any time I am very well at this time and do hope that these few lines will find you and my dear little children in good health and doing well. I Recvd your letter last night that you sent by Wm Karr I was glad to hear that you all were well and doing as well as what you were it is a great satisfaction to hear from those we love.

I wrote you a letter the other day. My horse has got here he looks bad. I have no news to importance to communicate to you. I got a letter from D Cannon they were all well your Pa’s family was all well they are still in Holly Springs the Enimy did not damage them very much date of the letter Feb.

Some Prospect of a fight here soon. I think if it does come off it will be the hardest contested of the war. Some thinks we will whip them at this place. I can no say not knowing. Our army is in good fighting condition at this time the health of the troop is good at this time all seem to Be hopefull and confident of Success, the war is not at an End yet, the conscrip law has past the federal congress they will put 1 ½ million more men in the field by that law. So you see that we will have fighting fighting yet if they continue to prey upon us as you say if the Lord is with us all will be well if not to the Reverse. My Prediction is that the war will continue during Lincoln administration at least. But I am no prophet. I hope it will cease soon. I am tired of war. I hope we may all get home soon. With our dear ones at home I prefer the quietence of a Peaceful home to that of the Buz of war. Lucy I have no news to interest you the news is scarce in the army at this time.

I want you to Buye any thing you can that you need, if you get short of money let me know and I will send what your need at any time that I have a chance if you could feed a horse you might Buye one But you must Be your own judge about those things. I have no advice to give you. You will do the Best you can under the circumstances bad at best but might be worse I think the worst is come yet so we must prepare to meet it.

My love to all the friends and Relations My Best Regards to Mr. Frensley tell him he shall loose nothing By his kindness toward my Family. Kiss the children for their Pa tell them to be good children. I want you to teach them at home to Read and write as you will have no school to send them to also learn them to work.

No more at this time. Remember me in your Devotions your ever True and Devoted Husband F.C. Karr

PS Lucy I send you Fifty Dollars United States money I thought you might get some one to Buye flour coffee & salt. I gave $62 ½ for it use it for such articles as you need. Buy your salt.

Yours as Ever   F.C.Karr

ADDENDUM: I suspect, but do not know, that the large battle that Karr says is imminent is Chickamauga, which took place six months after this letter was written. Maj. Karr was wounded on the Chickamauga Battlefield and died Sept. 27, 1863, and is buried in a mass grave at the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia.

ADDENDUM 2: Lucy must have been, by necessity, a strong woman. The name continues to be quite popular in our family.