"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: ham and pea soup

hambone pea soup! . . .

Like many households, we baked a glazed ham for Easter. I saw a joke somewhere that said, “What’s the definition of ‘infinity’?” and the answer was: “two people and a ham.” Well, we’re two people and we gave big chunks of ham to our neighbors and family. We still had quite a bit left over.

One night for supper, we had eggs benedict for dinner with some of the ham leftovers. It was scrumptious especially with the hollandaise sauce spiked with lots of fresh lemon in it. For the rest of the week, we stayed quiet on the ham wrapped carefully in the lower part of the fridge although we made up dinner roll ham ‘sliders’ to take to friends.

This afternoon, I took the chunk of ham out, cut most of the ham off the bone and started a pot of homemade ham and pea soup:

  1. Sauteed chopped onion and carrots in oil
  2. Soaked a pack of dried green peas in a bowl with boiling water
  3. Trimmed the hambone and put it in the onion/carrot pot to brown all over
  4. Added one can of chicken broth; and enough spring water to bring the level of the soup over the hambone. Brought the soup to a slow boil and maintained it there with the lid on for the rest of the afternoon.
  5. Will add more water if needed when I taste the broth for flavor and saltiness. Because the ham is salty and the chicken broth is too, I lean more towards a bland pea-soup with more water than broth, letting the vegetables add sweetness to the soup. (Just tasted it: not salty and full of flavor!)
  6. Let it cook a LONG TIME.

Earlier today, I made a batch of orange marmalade cinnamon rolls for my neighborhood librarians who are the nicest people in appreciation for “National Library Week.” We have a few rolls that I took out that we can steam up to have with the pea soup. I’ll check in with G. to see if he’d like some thin slices of ham on a roll with mustard, or on the side with Major Grey chutney.

That’s it for tonight’s supper: ham and pea soup, rolls and ham. I consolidated the rest of the ham pieces and put in the freezer for future eggs benedict or frittatas. So far, we’ve managed to manage this ham pretty well. C’est la Vie!

roses . . .

yellow roses

We’re having our first deep snow today. We count ourselves lucky because it’s almost the end of January, only about two months from the first day of Spring in March! G. went out and tested the snow to see whether it was heavy with moisture or whether the snowblower might be able to handle it.

For my part, I like to make a big pot of soup when there’s snow hurling itself to the ground outside. I couldn’t find a shin of beef yesterday to make a hearty beef-vegetable soup with carrots, onions and stewed tomatoes in a beef stock. Instead, I picked up a nice slice of ham which I will cut up and brown with some sweet onion and carrots, adding in dried green peas that soaked overnight. A chicken stock will simmer the ingredients to which I’ll add a bay leaf and a couple of whole cloves stuck into some chunks of onion, careful to simmer on low heat to keep the soup from burning.

Along with the ham and pea soup which I’ll puree in the Vitamix, removing the ham bits and adding them back in, I’m planning to make grilled Reuben sandwiches. On slices of dark pumpernickel bread, I’ll layer sliced corned beef, rinsed and dried sauerkraut, swiss cheese, a layer of Russian dressing made by combining ketchup and Hellmann’s mayonnaise with pickle relish, more corned beef and shredded cheese. On a stove-top grill pan, the buttered pumpernickel sandwiches will be slowly cooked with a weight (partially filled teakettle on paper towel) turned over and cooked until crispy, then sliced in half.

Seems like this would be a great supper to have if the Super Bowl were being played this weekend. We live in Massachusetts and find unfortunately, that we’ll have to go through another week dragging the Patriots through the mud before we can watch the game and then wait for the Roger Goodell shoe to drop. Seems rather partisan to drag it out for so long, don’t you think? Partisan for those who hate winners and want to besmirch reputations. What’s the name of that coach in Baltimore again? The Ravens coach who blew the whistle about under-inflated balls even before the Colts game last week?  We’ll see what happens. But I still hope the Patriots will beat the Seahawks next week. If they do carry it off, they’ll have proven that being in this crucible of public outcry won’t stop them from winning.

I’ll just have to think some more about what to cook for supper to watch the Super Bowl next week.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the sweet bouquet of long-stemmed roses that my husband brought home last night for no reason. That’s the best kind of surprise and the most touching.

Heck, I even put on my parka, scarf, boots and hat  this morning to clear off snow from the front stoop and to provide more space for our vehicles to move freely about the driveway.

One surprise deserves another, right?