Give your friends a way to warm up during the winter months with delicious Hoppin' John Starter.
Make ham mixture: Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Cook chopped smoked pork in hot drippings just until beginning to brown. Combine bacon, pork, and jarred ham soup base. Spoon into 1 (8-oz.) jar. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Make pea mixture: Combine dried black-eyed peas, converted white rice, dried onion flakes, freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, baking soda, and bay leaves. Store at room temperature up to 3 weeks.
TO MAKE HOPPIN' JOHN STEW: Stir together Hoppin' John Starter and 8 cups water in a 5 1/2- to 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until peas are tender. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Hands-on 5 min. Total 7 hours, 5 min., not including starter
PACKAGE HOPPIN' JOHN STARTER IN: Weck 7-oz. Glass Jar ($50; westelm.com); Cellophane Bag (30 cents; thinkgarnish.com)