Hoppin’ John

1 cup dry blackeyes*
4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1⁄2 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
Generous dash each hot red pepper and black pepper
3 cups cooked rice

Soak blackeyes by preferred method. Rinse and drain blackeyes thoroughly. Cook bacon in heavy saucepan until browned. Add onion, green pepper and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender. Add beans, 2 cups water and seasonings. Cover and simmer 40 to 50 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf; stir in rice. Continue simmering about 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. As an alternative, beans may be served over rice.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.