CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Black-eyed peas blend in so much

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

My mission to completely rotate the pantry, including every powder and spice, has stalled at beans.

Peas actually. The black-eyed variety, highly celebrated on New Year’s Day, then less remembered when more flashy beans get transformed into dips or beans and rice meals dotted with sausage.

I soaked some dried peas from my stash and it seemed I simmered them two solid days before they softened. Then there was the dejected half-bag I found in my late mom’s freezer. I reconstituted them with love. Then I found one more half package hidden in there, and also a can on my shelf.

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Somewhere through these quarantine discoveries, my husband scowled and announced he does not “care” for black-eyed peas.

Well, I’m on a “making do” mission, and I couldn’t let a little setback like that discourage me. I began to hide the peas.

There was BEP hummus. BEP dip. BEP sauce. He’s on to me, but I’m really moving product here and I give myself gold stars for creativity.


What’s the fizz?

My first taste of Perrier in the ’70s was underwhelming. Now I can’t get enough of the bubbly. It’s so … satisfying. It’s calorie-free. It’s fun. It’s pretty in your glass.

I call it fizzy water and it’s a real treat. I don’t abuse the pleasure. I relish it. SodaStream came into my life. I resisted it, but it has become a daily perk. I avoided this machine for years until the makers offered to let me try it. My mom would have been cautious of the canister you must insert into the back. She was also had a ban against canned biscuits and microwaves, for safety purposes.

I could not believe how easy it is to use. Plug it in and put the bottle that comes with it into the right slot and select your level of fizz.

Lots, please. I punched the button and got a woosh and a show. The bubbles look amazing going in and last while you pour out our concoction.

As for flavors, when I treated myself to cans, I went for lemon and lime. Now I’m playing with a drop of vanilla, ginger juice or a rosemary infusion. The thing is, there are plenty of recipes for homemade syrups to add coffee, fruit, chocolate and other flavors to your water. Guess what. The bubbles are enough of a treat for me. I still want it calorie free. Unless of course, I get to play with gin or wine or something. I learned that people were carbonating the cheapest of wines and calling it “shampaign.”

Get it? Sham? I simply added some bubbly water to some red wine and guess what? Wine coolers are officially back.


Wine wins

It started in 1887, and in 2020 I’ve learned a new word — perlage. It’s to do with all the bubbles that bring aromas of exotic fruit, apple and white pear to you. Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG has creamy perlage, good with refined appetizers, risottos, white meats, fresh cheeses and light pastries. I believe it would go well with Mother’s Day. We all are craving something extra special these days. Why, Mionetto Prosecco and Rose are released as the “Prestige Collection” and are even packaged in attention-getting curvy bottles.

All the fruity flavors a delicate and the bubbles are what you came for. Relish them. In these times, make every day your special occasion. Please do give these Italian sparkling wines your attention (you don’t really have to involve your mother here).


The Wand

Little disposable tools called The Wand and The Pour are out to help the (studies show) 75 percent of wine drinkers who get headaches from histamines and sulfite preservatives found in red and white wine.

Maybe you’ve seen what looks like little flyswatters for a glass or bottle filters demonstrated on popular news shows. A father and son team of scientists spent five years developing Phoenix Technology to alleviate headaches, congestion and flushing without affecting the aroma, taste or color of the wine. I have been sensitive to this in the past so I tried this product with pleasant results. For more information, go to


Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie in the middle of this with all of you Port Arthur News readers. Contact her at