I survived the weekend. The pile in the bedroom is 80% diminished. It astonishes me that in order to clean up one area, I was forced to first clean up two other rather huge disaster areas to have the space free to put stuff away. It’s looking better already, and I thank John for ignoring the size of my stash. My mother loves to organize and keeps a lovely immaculate home. I sadly, did not inherit this particular gene. Oh well, progress is better than leaving it in a heap for another 7 years. Seriously – I found paperwork in the armoire where I needed to put my sewing machine from when Nicholas was born.
My garter stitch blanket has one row complete. I do love the soothing nature of knitting garter stitch and this blanket is floating my boat in every way. I’m even looking forward to seaming it together! Nicholas left me his Bionicle to play with while he’s at school today.
It’s rehearsal night tonight for Sarah, which means we need to gobble dinner by 5:30 and then I can have some knitting and coffee time while the kids work hard at their pieces. My rehearsal night is tomorrow and though the my favourite clarinet player there brings her knitting and can knit just a few stitches and drop it on her lap whenever she needs to play (it is the most amazing skill) I get too distracted and would be in trouble for sure with the conductor.
So soup to the rescue – I’m making a huge pot of split pea soup and hopefully with a loaf of bread and/or salad it will feed us both nights. This really is the greatest soup. Don’t be afraid if you hated pea soup as a kid – this is really good!
It’s only 5 ingredients. I roasted a ham for dinner last night so today all of the leftover trimmings, the bone and any left over ham get chucked in the pot. I use a large stock pot and cover the ham and bone and fill until about 3 inches from the top – maybe 12-14 cups water?
Finely dice half an onion and add along with 2 cups split green peas. I used a bit more than that just to finish off the bag. I’m a terrible recipe follower, I tend to cook by feel. Bring to a hard boil and turn down heat until it’s simmering hard. I do not use a lid, because it would boil over and make a huge mess. This is going to simmer most of the afternoon and reduce down, so I don’t bother with a lid. It will look completely disgusting when you first start it.
Looks like dishwater. I promise, in a few hours – 3-4 hours, the peas and finely diced onion sort of melt and everything looks a whole lot more appetizing. If it’s reducing more quickly than it should, turn the heat down to a low simmer. If you get a foam on the top, skim it off. When the peas are dissolved, take out all of the meat, bone and fat. Take any meat off the bone, trim any and all fat and put the meat back into the soup. Salt to taste (this can vary wildly, depending on your taste, how salty the ham is etc) My family likes it quite salty so I use a fair bit and put the shaker on the table for Sarah who always likes just a bit more 🙂 The kids like it, John likes it – I once served it at the cottage to a rather horrified 14 year old picky eater son of a friend who proceeded to eat 4 bowls.
I think the hang up with some food is that we all have some kind of bad childhood food memory and it’s surprising to me with how many people that terrible memory involves pea soup. I’ll be honest – I didn’t know it existed until I met John because my mother hated it so much that it was a “never eat” food at my house growing up. I have yet to get my mum to eat this, but I will – mark my words. So two tricks that I think transform it from yuck to yum? Finely dice the onion – (think it’s small enough? keep dicing) so that it disappears. Nicholas hates onion and doesn’t notice it here. Also – remove ALL the fat. I wish I had a finished soup to show you, but take my word for it – the house already smells great and it’s got 3 hours to go.