Ask the Dean


Dr. Wallace Southerland III

Ask the Dean is a weekly column by MTU’s Dean of Students, Dr. Wallace Southerland III, where students can submit questions for him to answer. To submit a question, email [email protected]


“Do you have a favorite recipe you would be willing to share?”


Reluctantly, I’ll share a recipe for my famous “Hoppin’ John” which is often a hit at potlucks, parties, and family events. Hoppin’ John is a delicious southern-inspired cultural dish that can be made a few ways. Just google the dish and you’ll see what I mean. My recipe is not written down (until now!) and is not made like what you’ll see online. I just know it, do it, and enjoy it. Here goes:


  1.     Soak 1lb of black-eyed peas for about 6-8 hours or overnight then rinse. Put in a big ol’ pot. I prefer a crock pot so it can slow cook all day or overnight.


  1.     Put a giant smoked turkey drumstick (or pieces) in the pot with the peas and cover with a lot of water (maybe 6-8 cups) which creates a delicious broth.


  1.     Slow cook on “low” overnight so your soul smells the aroma through the night or cook while at work or out for the day. Then, after it’s all done:


  1.     Optional: Pull that turkey off the bone and mix that meat into the pot. Watch the thin bones.


  1.     Optional: Cook a 1lb of spicy ground sausage (my choice!) or turkey – remove the oil.


  1.     Chop about 1 white onion.


  1.     Chop 1 green pepper.


  1.     Chop 2-3 stalks of celery.


  1.     Use 2-3 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic or use a little fresh garlic.


  1. Sautee’ items 6-9 until the aroma makes you salivate. Do not overcook. Mix all of it in pan with item 5 for that extra aroma and seasoning. Now dump that into the black-eyed peas and mix well. Smell.


  1. Optional: Add a few splashes of hot sauce.


  1. Optional: Add cooked Kale or cook the Kale with the peas.


  1. Optional: Skip the meat and use shrimp or crab or tilapia or all three. I call this my “Eastern Shore Hoppin’ John.” If you do this, add Old Bay seasoning to taste.




I prefer juicy texture but not soupy. Add over rice or mash potatoes or cornbread. HuskyUP and enjoy. I’ll let y’all know the next time I make some because winter is coming.




Dr. S.


HuskyUP. All day. Everyday.