Due to the inconsistency of the winter months, we don’t always have the equipment to keep the roads clear, making driving dangerous. Here are a few tips for navigating a snowy, icy, and cold winter. Watch the weather forecasts carefully. Make it a part of your nightly routine so you always know what to expect in the morning. Check the weekly and monthly forecasts as well. That way, you can plan vacations or trips to see family between the blizzards. If you do have to be on the road during a snowfall, make sure you have an emergency kit. A roadside emergency kit should include blankets, gloves, coats, and chains for your tires. Tire chains are very helpful, but four-wheel drive is always the best advantage when driving in snow. It’s also important to know that if a road is closed, its closed for a reason. If you decide to drive on a closed path, it could void your insurance coverage in the event of an accident. When starting your day, do a walk around your car. If you see a rear-view mirror askew or a tire slightly lower than the rest, address those things before driving to work. You should check the wear on your tires regularly. Worn tires increase the risk of slipping and sliding, so make sure you have enough tread. Look for streaks on your windshield when you use your wipers. The last thing you want is to realize that you need new wipers during a snowstorm. It’s the little things that can make a difference in harsher weather conditions. These are just some of the tricks you can use to navigate the inconsistent weather we get! Check out NHTSA.gov/winter-driving-tips for more information.
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A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.
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1 cup dried black-eyed peas
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1 smoked ham hock 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup long-grain white rice
5–6 cups water
1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.
4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. Inspired by Epicurious.
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