Curse of the Holiday Ham. We gave half of it away. We made ham, biscuits and gravy. We made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I think the ham was somehow growing in the refrigerator when we weren’t looking.
Today I decided to kill the beast once and for all, so I made some crock pot split pea soup. I really should make soup more often, but I’m pretty lazy. This is about as effortless as it gets and I can barely manage that. But, for all of us who set the bar really low when it comes to effort made in the kitchen, or for those who just need one more way to kill off that holiday ham, split pea soup is about as easy as it gets.
Apparently most people think stew is like tuna casserole, something you’ll only choke down if there isn’t something better. But give me a bowl of stew and some biscuits, and my stomach goes into it’s happy dance. It takes a while to make stew, but it’s a good weekend endeavor. Kind of like a food mullet. Not much business to attend to up front, big party in the rear. Yes, my mind does work in mysterious ways.
Stew’s in the pot getting delicate. Think I’ll go read a book and enjoy doing nothing for a while, since it’s back to the old grindstone tomorrow. Sigh!
Shut the front door. I made minestrone soup. Which can be vegan. Or gluten free. But if you’re feeling scared don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be.
My grasp of Italian is pretty limited. My Nonni used to call me “squirrely” a lot, so I know what squirrel is in Italian, and some other choice words. But near as I can figure, minestrone is Italian for “everybody in the pool”.
Nonni used to throw in whatever veggies she had on hand and somehow it always tasted about the same, which was awesome. I can’t rock soup like Nonni did, but I make some pretty good minestrone if I do say so myself. Which I don’t. My friend Jeanne says my vegan version is pretty darn good. I make it with gluten free pasta for her.
For Mr. Man, I sometimes add MEAT, which makes him very happy, although he’ll go along with the meatless version too. Either way, it’s a good way to get some veggies in your belly and sometimes clean out the fridge.
Last night I needed to use up some leftover steak. That really never happens unless I’ve had company for dinner, in which case I always make way too much food because I live in terror of not having enough. It must be the Italian in me. We’re genetically programmed to try to feed everyone until they explode. I have no control over it.
This time I happened to have leftover prime rib steaks. Now, isn’t that just a shame? It was a little cool, thinking about raining, so I was thinking about a nice hot bowl of soup. Steak soup. Yum.
You can make this with whatever you have on hand. I’ve used leftover tri-tip or chuck roast. I’ve even been known to cook a tri-tip just to make a big batch of this soup.
I’ve been on call for jury duty this week. The horror!!! Yesterday I was in danger of getting stuck on a trial expected to last three months. It was a nail biter, but luckily the judge set me free.
By then, it was late afternoon, I didn’t want to cook (reoccuring theme), but really wanted some comfort food. After all, I’d just dodged a bullet. So I made some quick chili beans and cornbread.
Southerners, don’t bother telling me chili has no beans, and there’s no cheese in cornbread. Honey badger don’t care. I’m at that point in life I’ve dubbed the “decade of decay”, somewhat depressing but also freeing. I cook what I like and I pass it along. Sometimes it’s actual cooking, sometimes, like last night, it’s thrown together out of cans. I only have to impress my stomach, and it was happy last night!