Wow. A Whole Year Has Passed
Wow. A Whole Year Has Passed – It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since January 20, 2021. What has changed? A whole lot. In fact, more has changed (in my perception) in this past year than in my entire lifetime.
By the way, Lenny says “hello”.
There are several things I am currently concerned about, so let’s see if they match up with your list.
-the food supply
-the entire financial system seems to be changing
-people seem afraid to go near each other
-a lot of people are not working at all (they gave up) or are doing side gigs
-children seem confused by all of the mixed messaging on current issues that affect them
-travel comes with anxiety and seems unpredictable
I can’t change the world, but I can help with eating the right, most fulfilling foods during all of this. I can also help people find ways to travel without trepidation.
We’ll get into more travel after we detox from the holidays! The holidays sure are fun, but it’s time to pull back a bit on the indulgent holiday foods if we want to live long, healthy lives.
I try to take something good from every day.
Did you know what you eat affects mood, pain from arthritis, how your gut feels, how you sleep, your anxiety level and your ability to concentrate? That’s a lot of stuff! And, it’s really only a partial list.
So, I was going to make a comforting split pea soup yesterday, but I elected to spend time with my son instead. Easy choice, right? I’m getting ready to throw the soup ingredients in the pot right now and let it simmer with a big ham hock this morning. Here’s how I make it:
1 onion, diced
cooking spray and 1 tsp olive oil
2-4 Florida gold or other potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
16 oz rinsed split peas
a crushed clove of garlic
a generous pinch of good sea salt and white pepper
1/2 tsp dried tarragon because it tastes mint-y and peas love mint
1 ham hock or pork shank
my good friend, water (to cover)
Why don’t more cooks use water in vegetable soups? I learned from Chef Pierre i(n culinary class on soups and stocks) that you don’t need stock in a vegetable soup. Taste the vegetables! Don’t muck it up with too many competing flavors.
Heat your pot or Dutch oven that you’ve sprayed over medium heat. Add the olive oil.
Add the diced onions and sweat them for a couple of minutes. Don’t waste time cooking the onions fully because they will cook in the soup and be nice and soft. I never understood why people do that and I used to do it too. Seems redundant.
Add the split peas and everything else (don’t forget the ham hock!) and cover with water. You may have to add more water as it simmers. Keep an eye on it.
Let it simmer and stir occasionally. If it collects a lot of foam on the top, you may want to skim that off. It’s impurities coming out of the ham hock.
After the peas are nice and soft, take out the hock and shred any bits of meat on it. Before you put the meat in, use an immersion blender (carefully and off the heat) to smooth out the soup if you like. Put the meat back in the soup and discard the hock. Taste for seasoning before you serve it to people. No one likes the letdown of a bland soup.
Serve with some crusty bread and a salad. If you are in the mood, a glass of Frey Wine (organic and biodynamic) would be lovely with it. If you want to dress up the soup, garnish with a dollop of lowfat Greek yogurt with a little sprig of fresh tarragon, if you have any.