2024 Kicks Off on a Tasty Note: Super Start with Hoppin’ John & Collard Greens


There is nothing to do in January. We can do anything we want and go anywhere we want in the New Year. Being hopeful and having dreams go hand in hand. We have the power to get things done and make progress. This will be our best year ever, so why not start with a traditional dinner that includes our hopes and dreams?

Not only is Olivia Thomason Georgia’s “Queen of Folk Art,” she is also a great Southern cook. She learned everything on her own, but she honors her maternal grandmother, who taught her how to make meals every day when she was a baby in Western North Carolina, using fresh, local ingredients and skills that have been passed down from generation to generation since Colonial America.

A lot of people in the South eat black-eyed peas and Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day. They stand for good things and growth. They also go well with hot biscuits, butter, Chow-Chow, and freshly made iced tea.

Enjoy these tasty recipes. Play the exciting old song “Boogie-Woogie Country Girl” by Big Joe Turner while you’re making the meal. It will give you a little extra spring in your step as you get ready to celebrate the start of 2024.

Pot of Gold Collard Greens


  • 1 bunch of collard greens
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped (optional for added flavor)
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Wash Collards thoroughly

Chop into desired strips, removing large stems

Add ingredients and cook for 2 hours in a soup pot

Remove Ham Hocks; chop and add back to pot of greens.

Big O’s Carolina Hoppin’ John


  • Bacon
  • Andouille Sausage Links
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Bell Pepper
  • Jalapeno or Serrano pepper
  • Frozen Black-Eyed Peas
  • Chicken Stock
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Green Onions
  • Long Grain Rice


  • Soak peas in water overnight, rinse, and drains
  • Blend peas with ingredients
  • Cook in a covered pot at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until peas are soft.
  • Serve spooned over or alongside Jasmine rice.


In summary, as we usher in the New Year with a sense of boundless possibilities, Olivia Thomason, Georgia’s “Queen of Folk Art” and accomplished Southern cook, invites us to celebrate the start of 2024 with traditional dishes imbued with hopes and dreams. Drawing on her culinary expertise passed down through generations, Olivia shares two delightful recipes: Pot of Gold Collard Greens and Big O’s Carolina Hoppin’ John. These dishes, rooted in Southern traditions, symbolize good fortune and growth, perfectly complemented by hot biscuits, butter, Chow-Chow, and freshly made iced tea. As you embark on preparing these flavorful recipes, let the lively tunes of “Boogie-Woogie Country Girl” by Big Joe Turner infuse an extra spring into your step, setting the tone for a year filled with progress and joy.

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