Sunday, January 27, 2008

From Ima's Kitchen - Split Pea Soup

I used to always take the shortcut of using the boxed or canned broths when I made soup. Then, I read two interesting and, sometimes contradictory, articles on making your own stock. The first one was Michael Ruhlman's and he proposed making it in the oven. It seemed like a much simpler method than simmering on the stove all day so I tried it with the turkey at Thanksgiving. I also read an article called "Stock Tips" by Janet Fletcher of the San Francisco Chronicle. Between the two articles, I came up with my own method - a mishmash of everything I'd read.

I L o v e H o m e m a d e S t o c k. It is completely worth the effort.

Just this week, I made ham stock with two ham bones I'd frozen a few weeks ago. I guess it would be more honest to say that I helped make it. MrWurdi stepped up and pitched in with this one. I've been working way too much and he picked up the slack, repeatedly, on the making of the ham stock.

Today, I wanted to make split pea soup so I consulted about forty recipes and came up with a recipe I could almost call my own. I probably need to give credit to those other forty but I couldn't tell you what ideas came from which cookbook, website, or recipe card so I'll just say, "Thanks, everyone!"

I would like to note, for the record, that I did not talk to Duchess Jane while making this soup and, so, managed to avoid scalding my face.

Here's what I did:

Ima Wurdibitsch's Split Pea Soup
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 big handful of baby-cut carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice***
1 pound dried split peas
About 3 quarts of ham stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup diced ham


In a large heavy pan, saute onions and carrots in oil until they get a bit soft. Then, add the peas, stock, and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about three hours. When the peas get soft, run your immersion blender (finally got one!) through it a bit to let some of the peas thicken the soup. Add the diced ham and continue simmering and stirring, until the ham is heated through. Discard the bay leaves.

This recipe fits the criteria for the Weight Watcher's Core Plan.

Here's a picture of the finished soup. It's in a really small bowl so, for size reference the carrot pieces are about a quarter-inch big.

*** If you're not familiar with the baby-cut carrot conspiracy or the response from the World Carrot Museum, click the links!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not Exactly a Standard 55 Fiction Friday - January 11, 2008

Blogging’s stale and posting’s slow
I’m lacking my inblogspiration
There’ll soon be an overhaul
Perhaps, worthy of an ovation.

Today I’m skipping the regular post
(My weekly Fifty-Five endeavor)
Maybe you’re uninterested in this
And muttered, disgusted, “Whatever.”

Onward, with unwavering resolve
I’m forcing this silly rhyme
It’s completely unresistable
To fifty-five one more time.

New look, new goals, new posts - coming soon!

Friday, January 04, 2008

55 Fiction Friday! January 4, 2008

It's the first 55 of the New Year!
The 55s from MrWurdi and I were written last week but never posted.

All the details on what 55 Fiction is and how to play are at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

Roxie Rufus did!

Here's my 55 Fiction that I wrote last week and neglected to post:
Dr. Seuss Had It All Wrong

The hectic holiday time passed. Kids and grandkids returned to their homes. Turning to the love of my life, I took his hand in mine. Finally, we’re alone. Longingly looking into each other’s eyes, we realized – his knee was acting up and I was down in my back.

That’s how the Grinch really stole Christmas.

Without seeing mine first, MrGrinch wrote this last week:
Time Is Ever Fleeting

It has been forever since a good night sleep. And the stress has manifested itself in my mood and physical well-being. I walk with a limp and have seen disappointment in so many young eyes. Less money to give; it all seems painful. Growing old and missing the joy of Christmas past.

Christmas, Bah Humbug.

Despite the whining, we both really did have a great holiday. We stayed super busy with family and friends. I apologize for the lack of blogging. I haven't even read any blogs in weeks. That's changing. I have GOALS for the New Year.

We have a newcomer to 55 Fiction Friday - Roxie Rufus! She wrote several 55s. Unfortunately, I can't access them right now and will have to add them later so be sure to check back for them.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.